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Charges laid following investigation into fraudulent acquisition of luxury vehicles valued at $500,000

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 07:47:13 PM

Detectives have charged four men and dismantled a criminal syndicate following an investigation into the fraudulent acquisition of luxury vehicles valued at more than $500,000.

In December last year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad established Strike Force Celti to investigate the activities of a criminal syndicate involved in the fraudulent acquisition of luxury vehicles.

It will be alleged that the syndicate were involved in the fraudulent acquisition and on-sale of six luxury vehicles from across Sydney, each valued at more than $80,000.

During the investigation, detectives also received information relating to the fraudulent acquisition of personal loans and mobile phones.

Following extensive investigations, officers executed eight search warrants at properties at Elizabeth Hills, Guildford, Old Guildford, Enfield, Five Dock, Prestons and Liverpool from 6am today (Wednesday 19 May 2021).

During the searches, officers seized Lexus vehicles, about 50,000 illicit cigarettes, mobile phones, small quantities of methylamphetamine and cannabis, more than $27,000 cash and documentation.

Four men – aged 32, 36, 48 and 62 – were arrested during the operation and taken to local police stations.

The 32-year-old Guilford man was charged with three counts of deal with property proceeds of crime, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and possess identity info to commit indictable offence. He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court tomorrow (Thursday 20 May 2021).

The 36-year-old Elizabeth Hills man was charged with 13 offences including seven counts of dishonestly obtain property by deception, four counts of deal with identity info to commit indictable offence, knowingly/recklessly direct criminal group assist crime and recklessly deal with proceeds of crime. He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday 9 June 2021.

The 48-year-old Enfield man was charged with deal with property proceeds of crime, deal with identity info to commit indictable offence, dishonestly obtain property by deception and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

The 62-year-old Five Dock man was charged with 11 offences including four counts of deal with identity info to commit indictable offence, two counts of dishonestly obtain property by deception, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, three counts of possess prohibited drug and possess/attempt to prescribed restricted substance.

The men were both granted strict conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on Tuesday 8 June 2021.

Financial Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett, said police have conducted a thorough and extensive investigation into the activities of this alleged criminal syndicate.

“These individuals were participating in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at defrauding the community of hundreds of thousands of dollars that they had no intention of ever repaying,” Det Supt Howlett said.

“This investigation uncovered that the syndicate was purchasing high-end motor vehicles with fraudulently obtained credit cards, before on-selling them at a reduced price.

“It’s these kinds of crimes that have the ability to financially cripple hard-working members of our society and as investigations under Strike Force Celti continue, anyone with information is urged to contact police,” Det Supt Howlett said.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Celti investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.