Police charge five over money laundering and illegal tobacco importation

Five people have been charged as part of an ongoing investigation into a criminal syndicate allegedly involved in money laundering and the illegal importation of tobacco.

In December last year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, with assistance from the NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC), established Strike Force Mawalan to investigate a criminal syndicate allegedly involved in money laundering offences across Sydney.

As part of ongoing inquiries, strike force detectives, with assistance from Australian Border Force (ABF) officers, seized 90kg of allegedly illegally imported tobacco in April.

Following extensive inquiries, detectives executed five search warrants at properties at Campsie and Burwood from 6am on Wednesday 5 May 2021.

During the searches, police seized more than $180,000 cash and more than 70 post office keys.

Officers also seized cigarettes, tobacco and electronic devices. All items will undergo further examination.

A 47-year old woman and a 23-year-old man were arrested at separate properties at Campsie and taken to Campsie Police Station.

The woman was charged with deal in proceeds of crime (money/property), import tobacco products with intent to defraud revenue, and direct activities of criminal organisation.

The man was charged with deal in proceeds of crime (money/property), import tobacco products with intent to defraud, support criminal organisation, and deal with proceeds of crime.

They appeared at Bankstown Local Court on Thursday 6 May 2021, where they were formally refused bail to appear at the same court on Thursday 1 July 2021.

A 35-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were arrested at separate properties at Burwood taken to Burwood Police Station.

The man was charged with deal with property proceeds of crime, support criminal organisation, import tobacco products with intent to defraud revenue, and convey tobacco products know of intent defraud revenue. He appeared at Burwood Local Court on Thursday 6 May 2021, where he was granted strict conditional bail to appear at the same court on Tuesday 1 June 2021.

The woman was charged with support criminal organisation, and deal with suspected proceeds of indictable crime. She was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on Tuesday 1 June 2021.

As part of ongoing investigations, strike force detective arrested a 52-year-old man at outside a business in Parramatta about 12pm yesterday (Wednesday 12 May 2021).

He was taken to Granville Police Station, where he was charged with five counts of import tobacco products with intent to defraud revenue and convey tobacco products know of intent defraud revenue.

The man was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Thursday 13 May 2021).

Investigation under Strike Force Mawalan are continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Mawalan detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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