More than 200 outlaw motorcycle gang members dodging their tax responsibilities have been targeted in a joint ATO and police operation.
Officers from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and state police made surprise visits to more than 200 individuals and business with links to outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG’s) as part of a week of action.
Together, more than 200 legal and other notices have been served involving millions of dollars, for failing to comply with their obligations that included lodgment of returns, paying taxes that are due and correctly returning the income they have earned.
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This is the first time a nationally coordinated activity targeting the tax obligations of those involved in motorcycle gangs has been undertaken on such a scale. The operation has involved over 100 people from the ATO, AFP and state and territory police services.
It comes as the latest crackdown in National Taskforce-Operation Morpheus, a joint agency taskforce aimed at detection, deterrence and disruption of OMCG’s and their members.
Operation Morpheus chair NSW Police Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace said the action forms an important part of efforts to combat criminal wealth.
“These gangs rely on money to continue their illegal activities, so disrupting their resources is an example of another way law enforcement agencies are acting to dismantle their operations,” Detective Superintendent Wallace said.
“Operation Morpheus will continue to use every tool at its disposal to see the end of these criminal gangs.”
An ATO spokesperson said it was important people be held to account for defrauding the tax system and cheating the community of revenue.
“We are committed to ensuring that those involved in OMCG activities are made to pay their fair share of tax and are more open with their tax affairs. Improvements in technology enable us to better use data and intelligence to build an income, wealth and tax compliance picture so we can undergo targeted activities such as this.”
Agencies involved in Operation Morpheus include the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Border Force), Australian Federal and State Police and the ATO.