NSW police update: Further charges laid after investigations into bushfire fraud

Criminal Groups Squad detectives have laid further charges as part of ongoing investigations into fraudulent bushfire claims.

In August this year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Criminal Groups Squad established Strike Force Fireant to investigate reports that members and associates of the Rebels OMCG were allegedly involved in obtaining unlawful grant money through a NSW Government grant scheme.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators executed 11 search warrants across Greater Sydney and the Southern Highlands during a two-day operation yesterday (Wednesday 9 December 2020) and today (Thursday 10 December 2020).

During the searches, officers seized documentation, mobile phones, SIM cards, laptops and electronic storage devices.

Investigators also seized cash, prescription medication and prohibited drugs including ecstasy, cannabis, methylamphetamine (ice) and steroids.

All items seized throughout the investigation will undergo further forensic examination.

Six men – aged between 25 and 32 – and a 26-year-old woman were arrested and charged. All seven remain before the courts.

Two further women – aged 25 and 37 – were arrested at Westmead and Colebee from 6am today (Thursday 10 December 2020).

The younger woman was taken to Merrylands Police Station and charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage (x2) and recklessly deal with proceeds of crime (x2).

She was given conditional bail and is due to appear in Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday 27 January 2021.

The older woman was taken to Riverstone Police Station and charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage, and knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime with intent to conceal.

She was given conditional bail and is due to appear in Blacktown Local Court on Monday 22 February 2021.

Investigations under Strike Force Fireant are continuing.

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