A Gold Coast man with links to the Finks and Mongols bikie gangs has been forced to forfeit around $1.8 million in assets to the Commonwealth.
The 36-year-old from Wongawallan came to the attention of the Australian Federal Police during a 2017 investigation into an organised crime network distributing MDMA and cocaine from NSW into Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
“AFP enquiries and forensic accounting analysis allegedly identified that the man was laundering funds through various bank accounts and businesses,” the AFP said in a statement.
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“These were then used to build significant wealth through cash and real estate holdings that he attempted to pass off as legitimate.
“Investigations also revealed the man was not gainfully employed and his wealth far surpassed income he was declaring to the ATO.”
In November 2017, the AFP initiated “asset confiscation proceedings” over four South East Queensland properties linked to the man, on suspicion that he and his partner were involved in money laundering and tax fraud.
Finally, on 16 September this year, the Brisbane District Court ordered that the 36-year-old forfeit assets with a combined value of about $1.8 million to the Commonwealth.
It included two properties with a combined value of about $1.34 million, rental income of about $180,000 from the two properties, and about $350,000 from the sale of a restrained property.
“Funds from the sale of forfeited assets will be deposited into the Commonwealth Confiscated Assets Account, which is managed by the Australian Financial Security Authority,” the AFP said.
“Funds in this account are then redistributed by the Minister for Home Affairs to support crime prevention, law enforcement and other community initiatives.”
The operation, which was was active between February 2016 and November 2017, resulted in a total of 15 people based in southeast Queensland being charged with 62 offences including drug trafficking, tax fraud, money laundering and dealing in proceeds of crime.
More than 45 kilograms of drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis were also seized and more than $3.6 million in cash and real estate seized or restrained by police.