Police charge four men with fraud offences after raids at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre

Four men have been charged following an investigation into a criminal syndicate operating within the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

In December 2019, detectives from Sutherland Police Area Command established Strike Force Leahy to investigate the activities of a criminal syndicate believed to be operating from within the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

Their inquiries revealed the group were involved in the purchase of motor vehicles using fraudulently obtained credit cards.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators, assisted by Bankstown and Blacktown Police Area Commands, Bass Hill Region Enforcement Squad, the Dog Unit, and Australian Border Force (ABF), executed a search warrant at the centre about 5am today (Friday 10 January 2020).

During the search of the rooms occupied by the group, police allegedly located an amount of white powder and several mobile phones.

During further searches inside the facility, police located a small amount of cannabis, methylamphetamine, prescription medication and an improvised weapon.

Four men – aged 20, 34, 49 and 27 – were arrested and taken to Bankstown Police Station.

The 20-year-old Sudanese national was charged with obtain property by deception, attempt to obtain property by deception, supply prohibited drug and directing a criminal group.

The 34-year-old Lebanese national was charged with obtain property by deception, supply prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.

The 49-year-old Lebanese national was charged with obtain property by deception, attempt to obtain property by deception, supply prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.

The 27-year-old New Zealand national was charged with obtain property by deception.

All four men have been bail refused and were due to appear at Bankstown Local Court today.

Investigations under Strike Force Leahy are continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Leahy detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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