Charges laid after woman extradited over alleged organised theft syndicate, NSW

Detectives investigating the activities of an alleged international organised theft syndicate have charged a woman extradited from Victoria yesterday.

In November 2018, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad established Strike Force Merengue to investigate 80 aggravated break-ins across Sydney throughout September, October and November.

Inquiries led investigators to examine the activities of an organised theft syndicate, which also included shoplifting at designer stores across Sydney.

Eight members of the group, who are all Chilean Nationals, were arrested throughout November and December, which includes a 19-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man, who were arrested in Victoria.

Detectives travelled to Melbourne on Wednesday (9 January 2019) and applied for and were granted the woman’s extradition to NSW.

The 19-year-old woman was escorted by strike force investigators to Mascot Police Station yesterday (Thursday 10 January 2019), where she was charged with two counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.

Police will allege in court that the woman was sending $75,000 worth of luxury items, stolen from break-ins and shoplifting across Sydney, overseas.

She was refused bail and is due to appear before Central Local Court today (Friday 11 January 2019).

Investigations are continuing, which includes working with Chilean authorities to locate the stolen items.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Merengue investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence.

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