AFP seizes cash, homes and cars in WA

·2-min read

The Australian Federal Police has secured the forfeiture of almost $3.5 million in cash and assets after three recent investigations in Perth.

The haul included three homes, a business unit and two Mercedes Benz cars seized during a seven-year unexplained wealth and proceeds of crime investigation which wound up last month.

The Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce began investigating a couple previously based in Western Australia in 2015 after identifying unexplained wealth.

The WA Supreme Court recently ordered by consent that the assets be forfeited.

A separate investigation resulted in officers successfully applying to the WA courts to have $192,500 in cash, suspected to be the proceeds of crime, forfeited from a 32-year-old man who was charged following the seizure of one kilogram of methamphetamine at Sydney Airport.

AFP investigators found the money concealed in a backpack when they executed a search warrant at the man's home in Secret Harbour in 2020.

In September, the man was sentenced in Perth District Court to five years' imprisonment for drug possession and dealing in proceeds of crime.

The court ordered the man forfeit the money to the Commonwealth last month.

The third case involved a joint operation with the Australian Border Force into a man suspected of operating illegal labour hire companies in WA.

ABF officers located $136,460 in cash during a May 2020 search of the man's apartment, including envelopes of money hidden in his freezer.

The matter was finalised by consent last month, with the District Court ordering the money be forfeited.

AFP Commander John Tanti said the three cases should send a warning to people who lived a lifestyle they could not lawfully justify.

"If you accumulate wealth and assets that you cannot link to lawful sources and are living in luxury off ill-gotten gains, the AFP and its partners will catch up with you and hold you to account," he said.

"Unexplained sources of wealth are often a sign of underlying criminal activity and the AFP is committed to ensuring offenders are not able to profit from exploiting the wider community."

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