$2.3 million seized on Gold Coast during money laundering investigation

Two Russian nationals will appear in Southport Magistrates Court today (4 March, 2024) after the AFP seized more than $2.3 million in cash and cryptocurrency as part of a money laundering investigation on the Gold Coast.

The AFP issued the man, aged 49 and woman, aged 46, with court summons in December 2023, after locating about $1.95 million in cash and about $425,000 in cryptocurrency, as well as substantial financial records, during a search warrant at a home in Hope Island on the Gold Coast.

Police will allege the Russian nationals laundered the alleged illicit cash by visiting various financial institution branches and automatic teller machines in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, conducting hundreds of cash deposits during 2022.

Police will also allege each of the cash deposits was kept under $10,000 in an effort to avoid detection by authorities.

Officers from the Gold Coast Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (GC JOCTF) executed search warrants at the Hope Island home on 4 December, 2023 and a solicitor’s office in Surfers Paradise on 21 December, 2023.

The man and woman are each facing three counts of dealing in the proceeds of crime – money or property worth $1,000,000 or more, contrary to section 400.3 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

AFP Detective Superintendent Adrian Telfer said money laundering undermined Australia’s national security, the economy and social security system.

“Money laundering syndicates are sophisticated, international groups with one purpose – to provide a shadow economy enabling more crime,” Detective Superintendent Telfer said.

“While law-abiding Australians are paying their taxes and being good community citizens, organised crime gangs are using money gained illegally to increase their wealth.

“They are buying homes, commercial property and living large without the financial pressures felt by ordinary Australians.

“The money that is laundered through our economy bankrolls their lavish lifestyles and funds future crime, such as more illicit drug importations and weapons trafficking.”

The GC JOCTF is a multi-agency taskforce comprised of members of the AFP, Queensland Police Service (QPS), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

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