Australian Police forces have joined hands with United States federal authorities to get hold of a group of men alleged of narcotics distribution and money laundering.
On Sunday afternoon, as part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering and drug importation using crypto in the state, three men aged 45, 39 and 34 were arrested in a Sydney storage facility.
Along with a riot squad team, the officers had search warrants. The search warrants were executed within a unit block near the location of the earlier arrests.
The authorities disclosed that they had seized cash worth $4.7 million, laptops, money phones, money counters, and USB devices that allow users to acquire Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with the help of a debit card or cash.
In addition, the authorities also found $120,000 in cash from the younger man and $51,500 in cash from the elder man.
Around five kilograms of banned narcotics were also seized, including heroin, methylamphetamine and cocaine.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and the US Department of Homeland Security provided assistance to the PolicePolice.
The younger man is pleading guilty to charges of laundering and trading. He is accused of 12 counts, including knowledge of dealing in proceeds of the crime and commercial supply of illegal drugs. He was denied bail when he appeared in Central Local Court on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the elder man was released on a temporary basis and will have to appear in court next month. He is facing charges of providing banned narcotics and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Robert Critchlow, Detective Superintendent of the Sydney State Crime Command’s Organized Crime Squad, reveals that the arrests are proof that the multi-agency operation is quite effective in curbing major crimes in the state.
Critchlow says that the Strike Force Mactier is a well-coordinated multi-agency operation that has displayed its immense potential to crush severe organized crime in New South Wales.
There are also major concerns emerging in Australia regarding cryptocurrency use. Authorities have even given legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies with the intention to discourage criminal activities such as terrorism funding and money laundering with the help of cryptocurrencies.
The Australian Police believes the scams around cryptocurrency have increased after the pandemic, with bad actors adopting a “follow the money” policy.
Robert Jackson, executive director of intelligence operations at ACIC, says that he looks forward to working with the NSW Police Force along with other domestic and foreign partners for ensuring the success of operations.
The Australian Federal Police, the Australian Tax Office, and the AFP, along with six other government agencies, have created a task force to restrain criminal activities.