Burwood detectives have charged two men following an investigation into recent robberies during pre-arranged in-person money exchanges in Sydney’s Inner West.
In the first incident, two men – aged 30 and 31 – arranged a meeting using an online classifieds application to exchange Australian dollars for Chinese RMB.
It’s alleged the men entered a vehicle in a car park on Elizabeth Street, Burwood, about 9.45pm on Saturday 5 September 2020.
During the currency exchange, a portion of the cash was stolen by two unknown men.
In a second incident, a 24-year-old man arranged a currency exchange meeting on Belmore Street, Burwood, when he was threatened by two unknown men with a knife about 12.20am on Friday 18 September 2020.
A struggle ensued before the man was knocked to the ground and the two unknown men drove away with his cash.
In a third incident, a 20-year-old man attended Shoreline Drive, Rhodes, for a meeting to exchange currency, which was also organised online, about 7.15pm the following day (Saturday 19 September 2020).
An unknown man entered the car and after the 20-year-old gave him a container with cash, the unknown man allegedly fled the car and drove away in a vehicle parked in a nearby street.
The incidents were reported to officers from Burwood Police Area Command who commenced an investigation under Strike Force Eulenstein.
Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives, assisted by South West Metropolitan Region Operations Support Group, arrested two men – aged 20 and 32 – at Burwood just before 8pm yesterday (Thursday 24 September 2020). They were both taken to Burwood Police Station.
Shortly after, a 37-year-old man was arrested at Haymarket and taken to Day Street Police Station.
Following the arrests, investigators executed search warrants at units in Haymarket and Ultimo, where they seized cash, mobile phones, a laptop and other items relevant to the investigation.
The 20-year-old man, who is a Malaysian National, was charged with robbery in company, robbery whilst armed with an offensive weapon, stealing and breach of bail.
The 37-year-old man was charged with accessory after the fact of robbery whilst armed in company and accessory before the fact of robbery whilst armed with an offensive weapon.
Both men were refused bail and will appear before Burwood Local Court and Central Local Court respectively later today (Friday 25 September 2020).
The 32-year-old man has been released pending further inquiries.
Investigations under Strike Force Eulenstein are continuing.
Anyone with information about currency scams is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.