A 39-year-old Perth man with suspected links to organised crime has been stripped of about $1 million worth of assets, including property, motorbikes and $80,000 in cash, following an investigation by the Australian Federal Police.The AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) launched Operation Enguri in May 2016 over suspicions the man had no legitimate source of income, but owned two properties, vehicles and a boat. He was also spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on his lifestyle.
Police suspect the man, of Landsdale, has links to Perth’s organised crime networks and is criminally associated with multiple Outlaw Motorcycle Crime Gangs (OMCGs).The investigations revealed the man had a trust structure set up to hide his assets and was using family members and other associates to make the money appear legitimate.Between mid-2010 and early 2017 his assets were valued in the millions. Yet, between 2010 and 2016 he declared a total taxable income of just $140,502.
The AFP seized and restrained assets during the proceedings, with investigators executing search warrants at residences and commercial premises linked to the man in May 2017.
Seized items included three black Harley Davidson motorcycles, a Bayliner Trophy Pro Walkaround fishing boat and trailer, a 2017 white Toyota LandCruiser, a 2015 black Toyota LandCruiser and nearly $80,000 in cash.After an extensive investigation, and civil court proceedings led by the CACT’s litigators, evidence presented to the man and his legal representatives was such that he agreed to forfeit his assets to the Commonwealth.The AFP obtained court orders in the WA Supreme Court on 23 October 2020.
“If you accumulate wealth that you cannot explain and link to lawful sources, law enforcement will target your assets,” AFP CACT acting national manager Stefan Jerga said in a statement.”Where you try to disguise your criminal conduct or the true ownership of your assets, the AFP and its partners will outsmart you.”Our team of investigators, forensic accountants and litigators are relentless in their pursuit of justice, and are highly skilled in identifying whether a person’s total wealth exceeds the wealth they have lawfully acquired.”
The AFP-led CACT brings together teams from the AFP, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and Australian Border Force.The man’s seized assets can now be sold, with the proceeds placed in the Commonwealth’s Confiscated Assets Account (CAA).The AFP said funds in the CAA are redistributed by the Minister for Home Affairs to support crime prevention, law enforcement and other community initiatives.