Melbourne: Four arrested as Chinese gang accused of laundering $39m

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Police say a Chinese gang has been “disrupted” in Melbourne as four men were charged over an alleged money laundering syndicate.

The alleged Melbourne-based gang is accused of using a money transfer business to move more than $39m in illicit cash to China using a “sophisticated network” of associates between July and August 2022.

Australian Federal Police started targeting the alleged syndicate in January 2023, arresting four men after raids in Doncaster East, Box Hill and Melbourne’s CBD.

Designer watches, electronic devices, replica firearms and more than $212,000 was allegedly seized during the search.

On Thursday, South Yarra man Jiadi Wu, 23, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court following his arrest on Monday, charged with dealing with money believed to be the proceeds of crime.

Police will allege Mr Wu collected illicit cash on behalf of the syndicate.

A 32-year-old Chinese national was charged on March 19, with police alleging he directed the group’s money-laundering activities.

Two more men, a 37-year-old from Box Hill and a 42-year-old from Doncaster East, were arrested in February and March, accused of facilitating the remittance of illicit cash.

AFP Detective Superintendent Simone Butcher said police had disrupted the alleged syndicate, which was operating in Australia and overseas.

“Money laundering is the lifeblood of criminal activity,” he said.

“We allege that the amount of illicit wealth – a staggering $39m – was laundered by this criminal group in just one month and is more than most hardworking individuals would earn in multiple lifetimes.”

The four men will appear in court in July.

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