International students arrested over ‘criminal syndicate who fleeced victims out of $2.5million by cold calling them and pretending to be representing a government agency’
- Nine men have been arrested after they allegedly fleeced people of $2.5million
- Detectives arrested the men, who are on student visas, across western Sydney
- They allegedly targeted people through a phone scam and sent money overseas
- Strike Force Beswick, who are investigating, said the men are part of a syndicate
Police have arrested nine Sydney men who allegedly fleeced victims of $2.5 million by cold calling them and pretending to be representing a government agency.
Strike Force Beswick allege the men were part of a criminal syndicate that transferred more than $2.4 million through about 475 electronic money transfers.
Police will allege in court the men targeted people through cold-call phone scams, before transferring the funds overseas via fraudulent bank accounts.
Financial Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett, warned the public to be vigilant when receiving cold calls from an unknown number.
Police have arrested and charged nine scam artists across western Sydney who allegedly fleeced victims of $2.5 million
‘These scam artists cold-call landlines and mobiles claiming to be from a well-known business or government agencies and then demand some type of payment, often requesting it through money transfer or gift card,’ she said.
‘There is not one government agency – nor legitimate business – in Australia that would request payment via these methods.
‘The most important advice we provide is to simply hang up’.
Detectives established Strike Force Beswick in October 2021 to investigate the syndicate allegedly laundering the money they fleeced overseas.
The men, all on student visas and ranging in ages from 22 to 27, were arrested across western Sydney.
A 24-year-old Wiley Park man arrested at Sydney International Airport on Monday and taken to Mascot Police Station.
Following further inquiries, detectives executed two search warrants at properties at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday at 6am.
A 26-year-old man was arrested and taken to Burwood Police Station, while three other men aged 22, 23 and 27 were arrested by officers and taken to Auburn Police Station.
The four men arrested at the premises at Sydney Olympic Park had their bail refused and appeared at Burwood Local Court on Tuesday.
Strike Force Beswick, which was established to investigate the activities of the men, believe they were part of a wider criminal syndicate
Three 24-year-old men were arrested at a property in Punchbowl around midday and taken to Campsie police station.
Another man, 23, was arrested and transferred to Burwood Police Station. He is assisting detectives with their inquiries.
The charges levelled against the men include knowingly/recklessly direct a criminal group assist crime, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, deal with identity information to commit indictable offence, and deal with property proceeds of crime more than $100,000.
The visa status of all the men arrested has been referred to the Department of Home Affairs, with police expected to make further arrests.
Strike Force Berwick are still investigating.
It’s expected more people will be arrested.