In February 2017, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad, established Strike Force Mindarie to investigate the activities of an organised crime group operating across Sydney’s inner west and south west.
As part of the ongoing investigation, with assistance from Australian Border Force, strike force investigators conducted inquiries into illegal tobacco distribution and money-laundering.
Following extensive inquiries, detectives executed five criminal organisation search warrants at homes in Belmore, Lakemba, Marrickville, Bardwell Valley and Campsie last Wednesday.
During the searches, police allegedly found an estimated $6 million cash concealed in kitchen cupboards in the Belmore home. Electronic storage devices and 400 cartons of tobacco, worth an estimated $80,000, were also seized.
Three men – aged 40, 50 and 57 – and a 45-year-old woman were arrested during the operation and taken to Campsie Police Station.
The 50-year-old man was charged with deal in proceeds of crime, money/property (more than $1,000,000), conspire to cause loss, knowingly direct activities of criminal group, and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.
The 57-year-old man was charged with deal in proceeds of crime, money/property (more than $1,000,000), conspire to cause loss, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The 40-year-old man was charged with participate, criminal group contribute to criminal activity.
The 45-year-old woman was charged with deal in proceeds of crime, money/property (more than $1,000,000), conspire to cause loss, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, and convey tobacco products, know of intent defraud revenue.
Police will allege in court that the group were involved in the supply of tobacco and in doing so have avoided $1.8 million of duty tax.
Hunt for man following teen
POLICE are appealing for information after a teenage girl was followed by a man in Yagoona.
About 3.45pm on Thursday, November 28, a 17-year-old girl noticed a man staring at her, before he followed her off the train at Yagoona.
The man allegedly followed her to a convenience store and a supermarket. Police have been told he would stand next to her and stare whenever she stopped.
This continued until the girl lost sight of him on nearby Church Street.
The man is described as Asian, aged in his 40s and of a medium build. At the time, he was wearing a dark-coloured New York Yankees cap, dark pants, work boots, a watch, a black armband on his wrist and a large black backpack.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
Screwdriver stabbing brother
A MAN, 28, from Merrylands, has been charged with reckless wounding after he allegedly stabbed his brother in the chest with a screwdriver at Greenacre last Saturday night.