Two charged as part of investigation into international fraud syndicate at Cumberland

A man and woman have been charged as investigations continue into an alleged international fraud syndicate targeting elderly members of the community.

Last Friday (19 June 2020), detectives from Cumberland Police Area Command commenced an investigation after receiving reports an 85-year-old woman had been targeted by a scam.

The woman told police she had received a call from someone claiming to be a representative from her bank stating her account had been compromised and she needed to open a new account.

She was instructed to provide $3000 to a male courier, who came to her Telopea home, which would be deposited into the new account.

After reporting the matter to police, the woman received further calls from members of the syndicate advising she would be required to provide a further $5000, and a courier would collect the cash on Monday (22 June 2020).

As part of inquiries, detectives uncovered a sophisticated fraud syndicate operating out of India with Australian-based members collecting cash before electronically transferring the funds overseas.

Over the course of the weekend, investigators identified further victims and were told they had received similar phone calls from people purporting to be from their financial institution and requested either cash or ‘compromised bank cards’ be provided to a courier.

Following extensive investigations, Cumberland detectives arrested a 22-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man outside the Telopea home about 4.30pm yesterday (Monday 22 June 2020).

The pair – who are both Nepalese Nationals – were arrested taken to Granville Police Station and each charged with five counts of dishonestly obtain property by deception and three counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.

Both have been refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Tuesday 23 June 2020).

As investigations into the operations of the syndicate continue, detectives are urging anyone who may have been contacted by someone using a similar modus operandi to contact police.

Anyone with information about fraudulent activity 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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