Australian police disrupts sophisticated credit card fraud syndicate

A husband and wife were arrested today in Ryde, New South Wales, following what was dubbed as one of the most most serious identity crime investigations undertaken by the Australian Federal Police.

Started in April 2011, the investigation has since lead to the shut down of two credit card and documents manufacturing facilities and to the seizure of some 15,000 fake credit cards, with an estimated potential fraud value of $37.5 million.

The arrested couple, along with six previously arrested accomplices, are allegedly part of one of Australia’s most sophisticated credit card fraud syndicates, and during their arrest the police also seems to have confiscated computers and fake credit card manufacturing equipment.

The arrests come as a result of an Identity Security Strike Team (ISST) investigation which focused on the activities of a Sydney based crime syndicate involved in the manufacture and supply of fraudulent identity documents and credit cards.

According to the SMH, all the arrested men and women are Chinese nationals, and none were involved in the finance industry.

The police believes that the syndicate used credit card information stolen through ATM and POS skimming devices and phishing websites to create the fake cards, which were later sold to other criminals or used by the syndicate to by pricy goods.

The man has been charged with two counts of dealing in proceeds of crime, using a false document, and giving false or misleading information (contrary to section 136(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006).

The woman has been charged with dealing in proceeds of crime, using a false document, possession of equipment and materials for making false documents, dealing with identification information, using a telecommunications network with intent to commit a serious offence, forgery, oossession of identification information, and possession of false document.

They are both scheduled to appear in court on 25 October 2012.

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