TWO Gold Coast men have been charged with money laundering after they allegedly sent more than $80,000, stolen from ATM’s, to a number of people in Bulgaria.
Operation ‘North Overcast’ was commenced earlier this year as an investigation into an alleged former Rebels OMCG member and his associates.
The investigation subsequently identified a number of people allegedly involved in the organised theft of money from automatic teller machines and the laundering of some of that money to associates in Bulgaria.
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Two Gold Coast men were arrested and charged with money laundering under the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act. It is alleged the two men were involved in a number of transactions involving approximately $80,000 in cash which was sent to a number of different people in Bulgaria.
A 48-year-old man from Palm Beach was issued a notice to appear charged with one count of dealing with money as the proceeds of crime. He is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on November 23.
A 40-year-old man from Southport has been charged with one count of dealing with money as the proceeds of crime. He is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on November 12.
Acting Detective Inspector Jason Gough of Taskforce Maxima said it is alleged the two men were ‘mules’ who had been employed by an organised group involved in ATM skimming activity.
“The men were employed to assist with the sending of some of the proceeds offshore. Today’s action marks the start of an overt arrest phase for this investigation,” Acting Detective Inspector Gough said.
A number of further arrests are expected to be made in the near future.
Detective Inspector Gough also warned members of the public, “If you are ever approached to send money or perform a financial transaction on behalf of another person, you should scrutinise that situation carefully. You may well be committing a criminal offence by doing so.”