Canberra lawyer and accountant charged with facilitating organised crime

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have reported that two men and a woman have been arrested for allegedly being professional facilitators of organised crime in Canberra.

ACT Policing said they executed search warrants at a law firm and an accountancy business following an 8-month investigation that targeted covert business practices that allegedly allowed criminals to hide assets obtained via illegal means.

According to ACT Policing, a 47-year-old man allegedly facilitated an introduction to another man for the purposes of arranging to legitimise large quantities of cash.

Police allege the men met on a number of occasions to discuss how legal contracts and agreements could be used to support a business purchase to facilitate the laundering of proceeds of crime.

The men will be charged with offences associated with money laundering. The woman, who was arrested separately, was only described as a person of interest in the investigation who is a “close associate” to one of the men and a member of the legal community.

“Some organised crime groups and individuals lack the necessary skills or access to carry out their crimes, and so seek professional facilitators in particular areas like the financial and legal sector. ACT Policing will target anyone who engages in illegal activity to help criminals retain and legitimise proceeds of crime,” said Detective Superintendent Scott Moller.

This article was originally published in Thomson Reuters’ Weekly Tax Bulletin.

Ian has worked at Thomson Reuters for over 15 years as a senior tax analyst with expertise in income tax and GST. He has been involved in tax publishing for over 25 years.

Prior to his tax writing career, Ian worked as a manager for a Big 4 accountancy firm and then with a firm which provided specialist tax advice for the music and recording industry.

Ian holds a Bachelor of Economics degree, is a Chartered Accountant and a registered tax agent. Among other things, Ian is the author of the Australian GST Handbook, the GST Commentary Service, the Australian Financial Planning Handbook and the specialist income tax commentary services, as well as being a regular contributor to the news services.

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