Five arrests in $62m money laundering bust

A police investigation into an alleged $62 million money laundering operation dubbed the largest of its kind has led to the arrest of five people in Victoria.

Police on Thursday arrested a 31-year-old Caulfield North woman, two 32-year-old men from Blackburn and Burwood, a 36-year-old Endeavour Hills man and a 38-year-old Box Hill man.

Three of the men have been charged with money laundering and handling proceeds of crime and are expected to face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill described the arrests of the alleged syndicate members, four of whom had no criminal history and were not known to police, as a “significant national result”.

“This syndicate has conducted a highly mobile and agile operation, moving away from those traditional venues and outlets associated with money laundering,” Mr Hill said in a statement.

“These were people living a quiet and unremarkable life in the Melbourne suburbs, all the while operating a sophisticated criminal enterprise.”

He also said money laundering was not a “victimless crime”.

“These funds are used to operate criminal networks involved in a variety of crime types including the trafficking of drugs and illicit firearms,” Mr Hill said.

The 12-month investigation began after police received from about suspicious third-party deposits from AUSTRAC in October last year.

During the raid on Thursday police also seized millions of dollars in cash, illicit tobacco, a money counter, jewellery, sporting memorabilia and several luxury cars.

News Makanany