Financial Crimes Squad detectives have charged two Brazilian Nationals as part of an investigation into a Brazilian Established Criminal Network involved in card skimming offences committed in the Perth metropolitan area in December 2019.
An operation was commenced after a card skimming device was located on an ATM in Northbridge. Two further card skimming devices were located on ATMs in Doubleview and Fremantle. It will be alleged the card skimming equipment was attached to the ATM in Doubleview on Wednesday 18 December 2019 and attached to the ATM in Fremantle on Friday 20 December 2019.
Information from the bank involved directly assisted with identifying several persons of interest.
On Thursday 2 January 2020 a search warrant was executed at a residence in Bennett Street, East Perth. Two men were arrested and several items of interest were seized, including blank plastic cards, cameras and other equipment consistent with ATM card skimming activity.
Detectives sought assistance from AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) and identified several suspicious bank transactions involving the sending of funds to Brazil in late 2019. The investigation into the origin of those funds is ongoing.
A 39-year-old male Brazilian National, who currently resides in East Perth on a temporary visa, has been charged with:
– 2 x Stealing
– 2 x Possession of identification material with intent to commit an offence
– 2 x Possession of identification equipment with intent that it be used to commit an offence
– 1 x Made, used or supplied identification material with intent to commit an offence
He was refused bail and appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday 3 January 2020. He is next due to appear in the same court today, Friday 24 January 2020.
A second 39-year-old male Brazilian National, who also currently resides in East Perth on a temporary visa, has been charged with Property Laundering. He first appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday 10 January 2020, and is next due to appear in the same court on Friday 7 February 2020.
Detectives have established several lines of inquiry in Brazil in relation to other persons of interest to the investigation, and are working with national and international law enforcement partners to further investigate those people.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ken Foster from the Financial Crimes Squad said the arrests in Western Australia are a significant blow to the criminal network.
“The arrests in Western Australia have disrupted the business model being used here by the Brazilian criminal network, and provided valuable intelligence in respect to other, more senior members based in Brazil.
“Our efforts do not stop with the local arrests – we will continue to work with our national and international law enforcement partners to further pursue those other members of the criminal network.
“Brazil may be 15,000km away, but we have relationships that help bridge that distance, and we intend on pursuing those people who commit serious crimes in Western Australia, and those who facilitate those crimes, regardless of where they are hiding.”