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Chinese gang accused of laundering $39 million in cash

A criminal syndicate is accused of laundering more than $39 million in cash to China using a network of associates in Melbourne.

Four alleged members of the gang have been charged by the Australian Federal Police, in a joint investigation with Victoria Police and finance crime regulator Austrac.

AFP investigators started targeting the syndicate in January 2023.

They allege $39,527,935 in illegal cash collections and remittance funds was laundered to China through the network of associates in Melbourne between July and August 2022.

South Yarra man Jiadi Wu, 23, appeared in person at the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with dealing with money or property believed to be proceeds of crime worth more than $1 million.

His bail was extended to his committal mention date on July 1.

A 32-year-old Chinese man who is on remand awaiting trial, was charged on March 19 with directing the Australian-based money laundering activities.

He was previously charged with drug importation, allegedly linked to the attempted import of a commercial quantity of methamphetamine concealed inside a shipment of rubber mats sent from South Africa to Australia in September 2022.

items seized by police during a raid on a property in Box Hill North
Police seized gel blasters, replica firearms, phones, electronic devices and designer goods. (HANDOUT/AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE)

In February police arrested a Doncaster East man, 42, who is accused of facilitating money transactions on behalf of the Chinese organised criminal group.

And earlier in March, a Box Hill man, 37, was charged for allegedly remitting about $20 million in cash to China.

The registration of the remittance business has since been suspended by Austrac.

The accused syndicate members from Box Hill, Doncaster East and China have been charged with one count each of dealing with money or property believed to be the proceeds of crime worth $10 million or more and are due in court on July 1.

During raids on properties in Doncaster East, Box Hill and the CBD, police seized three gel blasters, replica firearms, phones, electronic devices, and designer watches and goods, along with $212,000 in cash.