Man sentenced for dealing with $8 million in suspected criminal proceeds

A man has been sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment for dealing with more than $8 million of suspected criminal proceeds, following an AFP Taskforce Avarus money laundering investigation.

The Wentworthville man, 46, was convicted of dealing with $8.82 million in suspected criminal proceeds by the Parramatta District Court on 4 December, 2023. A second offence of providing a remittance service while unregistered was taken into account for sentencing.

An AFP investigation, codenamed Operation Avarus Hadrian, found the man had registered two businesses in 2022 which had no legitimate business activities.

The businesses were not registered with AUSTRAC, the agency responsible for regulating money remittance businesses. AUSTRAC is a key partner of AFP’s Taskforce Avarus, a multi-agency operation targeting criminal networks which launder money through Australia’s financial system and property market.

Bank transfers show cash deposits totalling $8.72 million were made into business bank accounts across a seven-month period. In a separate bank account during the same period, the man transferred money overseas despite not being registered as a remitter.

The man was arrested on 15 September, 2022, and found in possession of a plastic bag containing $103,405 in Australian cash, along with 18 different bank cards for 10 different banks.

AFP Detective Sergeant Morag McGowan said money laundering and serious financial crimes were often connected to the illegal drug trade and transnational serious organised crime syndicates.

“Those who choose to engage in financial crime in this country need to know there is nowhere to hide,” she said.

“The AFP has shown, through the success of Taskforce Avarus, those involved in laundering millions of dollars through Australia’s financial system and property market will be identified, investigated and prosecuted.”

The man will serve one year and two months of his sentence, before being released on a recognisance order on the condition he is of good behaviour for one year and one month.

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