Cops confiscate 800,000 bottles of alcohol, including Jim Beam Bourbon and Gordon's gin from the syndicate that is said to have defrauded the hundreds of millions of dollars in the tax system
- The Australian authorities confiscated 800,000 bottles of alcohol during an investigation
- On Wednesday, 15 properties in Sydney and Melbourne were searched
- The police also confiscated designer watches, luxury cars, jewelry, and $ 1 million in cash
- Two men from Sydney have been arrested and are behind bars for up to ten and 25 years
- Current estimates suggest a suspected $ 28 million fraud, which is expected to increase
Police have confiscated 800,000 bottles of alcohol from a syndicate that has allegedly defrauded the tax system and possibly cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars.
Officials from the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) searched 15 properties in Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday.
Two men were arrested and the police confiscated $ 1 million in cash, designer watches, four luxury cars, and gold coins along with the alcohol.
The investigation was ongoing and further charges were expected to be brought.
Two men were arrested in 15 raids in Sydney and Melbourne as part of an investigation into a suspected criminal syndicate (one shown)
ABF Commissioner Michael Outram said the group had a complex system in place to avoid customs duties being levied on the alcohol brought into the country and then fraudulently requesting customs refunds for the alcohol they exported.
"(It is) incredibly rare to see fraud of this magnitude," he said in a press conference on Thursday, the ABC reports.
Commissioner Outram said the group milked around $ 28 million through the program, but the final cost to taxpayers could rise significantly to nine over the course of the investigation.
He said the major criminal operation allegedly cheated the Australian government of a significant amount of revenue that could otherwise have been invested in the community.
The alleged criminal group has led taxpayers through a complex conspiracy to avoid paying alcohol taxes and claim fraudulent export refunds
"The people allegedly involved in this scam have not only cheated the Commonwealth with substantial revenue, but also undercut legitimate companies involved in the alcohol trade, ripping off consumers." & # 39;
A 38-year-old man from Dover Heights and a 33-year-old man from Parramatta stood before the Sydney Central Court on Thursday and received bail.
The sentence for her indictment was between ten and 25 years.
They should appear in court again on February 4, 2020.
Operation Cabestro started in July 2019 after officials reported anomalies in duties paid or claimed under the customs refund system.
The authorities confiscated $ 1 million in cash, luxury cars, designer watches, and jewelry along with the alcohol
The authorities have revoked the license for a custody account believed to have been involved in the alleged fraud.
The depots operate under strict regulations to safely store imported goods for which no customs duties have been paid.
"For people in our supply chain who infiltrate them, who abuse licenses with trust if you do the wrong thing criminally, we'll come after you," the ABC told him.
In some cases, batch numbers have been removed from the bottles to prevent customs officials from tracking their origins.
The customs refund system enables exporters to receive a refund of the customs duties paid on imported goods if these goods are to be exported later.
An officer takes confiscated evidence from one of the properties after Thursday's raids
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