Detectives from the Gang Crime Squad have arrested six people yesterday as part of an investigation into gang members and associates linked to a series of financial deceptions involving government agencies.
The warrants were executed from 7am on Tuesday, 31 May by a number of units including Gang Crime Squad, Echo Taskforce, North West Metro Region, Eastern Region Crime Squad and Southern Metro Regional Crime Team.
Investigators have also worked in collaboration with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Search warrants were executed at residential properties in Truganina, St Kilda, Doncaster East, Sunshine West, Officer, Roxburgh Park, Reservoir, Tarneit, Kings Park and Deer Park.
Four men and two women were arrested, including:
• A 29-year-old Tarneit woman; and ($135,324)
• A 22-year-old Truganina woman; ($44,341)
• A 22-year-old Sunshine West man; ($21,387)
• A 21-year-old Officer man; ($45,600)
• A 19-year-old Roxburgh Park man; ($139,877)
• A 24-year-old Deer Park man. ($31,500)
All were interviewed in relation to the offences of obtain property by deception and possess proceeds of crime, and will be charged on summons.
Commander Mick Frewen, Crime Command said, “This operation is about targeting the criminality of street gang members and their associates at every level and in every way possible.
These financial deceptions are not victimless crimes – they essentially illegally take money from hard-working and honest members of the community.
They also fund these groups to undertake further serious offending.”
It’s believed the six arrested were involved in almost $500,000 worth of fraudulent payments.
Police also seized a number of items from the addresses, including electronic devices and paperwork.
The Gang Crime Squad investigation commenced in February 2022 after police located a number of suspicious financial transactions during a separate investigation.
Police allege those arrested have been involved in a number of large-scale deceptions involving government agencies where fraudulent payments have subsequently been received after those involved provided false details.
The ATO has supported today’s action as part of its ongoing Operation Protego.
Operation Protego is investigating a significant fraud involving participants inventing fake businesses to claim false refunds.
The investigation remains ongoing and police will continue to work in collaboration with the ATO.