Eight Sentenced In Australia's Biggest Money Laundering Investigation

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17th December 2009, 07:51pm - Views: 438
Eight Sentenced in Australia's Biggest Money Laundering Investigation

17 December 2009

The seven principals behind Australia's largest ever money laundering investigation, Task Force Gordian, were today sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to serve periods of imprisonment up to 12.5 years. They were charged with conspiring to launder up to $68 million of narcotics-related proceeds of crime from Long Thanh Money Transfer Company and associated cash remittance businesses in Sydney and Melbourne.

Intelligence indicated that the total money laundered through the Long Thanh Money Transfer Company and its associated businesses was well in excess of this amount.

Ms Hang Thanh Huynh and Ms Hue Thanh Tran were convicted and sentenced to 12.5 years imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 9 years for conspiring with others and money laundering $68 million and $57 million respectively.

Mr Phat Ba Huynh was convicted and sentenced to 8 years imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 5.5 years for money laundering $8 million.

Mr Tam Tran ($7 million), Ms Thi Ba Ong Huynh ($10 million) and Ms Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen ($8 million) were convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment with a minimum nonparole period of 3 years for money laundering.

Mr Tai Luong Nguyen was convicted and sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment for money laundering $2.5 million, to be released immediately on good behaviour for 3 years.

Mr Quoc Viet Lai, a former Vietnam Airlines pilot, also appeared today in Sydney's District Court and was sentenced to 9.5 years imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 7 years for money laundering $5.125 million. This followed a four week trial.

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Chief Executive Officer Mr John Lawler said that today's sentences were a major victory for Australian law enforcement and send a strong message about the power of joint-agency collaboration.

"Task Force Gordian was established by the ACC Board from May 2005 to June 2007 to combat serious money laundering and tax fraud, and involves the ACC, Australian Federal Police, AUSTRAC, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Victoria Police, New South Wales Police Force and the New South Wales Crime Commission," Mr Lawler said.

"Money laundering is at the very heart of serious and organised crime and it is critical that we continue to work together to target and dismantle those crime syndicates that pose the highest threat to the community.

"Each agency involved in Task Force Gordian has contributed their specialised capabilities and resources. Collectively we have disrupted a significant criminal enterprise, with 73 persons charged and in excess of 50 convicted with money laundering and serious drug offences, including the eight today who conspired to launder up to $68 million of narcoticsrelated proceeds of crime."

The ACC estimates that over $6 billion in illicit funds leaves Australia each year, with organised crime estimated to cost the Australian community between $10 to $15 billion each year.

"These are staggering figures and the community should be rightly concerned at the enormous cost of this criminal activity to the Australian public," Mr Lawler said.

"Whilst most reporting entities in the financial, gambling and bullion sectors comply with the anti-money laundering legislation, these sentences send a strong message to alternative money remitters in particular that they must comply fully with this legislation. AUSTRAC, the ACC and our partner agencies will continue to target non-compliance in this area."

The recent launch of the Organised Crime Strategic Framework in November 2009 reinforces the ongoing commitment of the Australian Government to take a coordinated, multi-agency response to serious and organised crime. This includes undertaking specific operations such as Task Force Gordian to better prioritise threats and more effectively align Commonwealth law enforcement resources.

For more information about the ACC and Task Force Gordian visit
www.crimecommission.gov.au

Communications and Media Unit
T 02 6243 6843
M 0409 603 637
E [email protected]
W www.crimecommission.gov.au


SOURCE: Australian Crime Commission




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