AFP Shatters $10 Billion Chinese Money Laundering Ring in Massive Property Raid

2 February, 2023 | Nick McKenzie

Highlights of the News


9 Suspects Nabbed in Major Crackdown on Chinese-Australian Money Laundering Ring

Alleged $10 Billion Money Laundering Scheme Uncovered in Australia

Authorities Confiscate $150 Million in Properties and Luxury Assets

Chinese-Australian Duo Allegedly Facilitated Capital Flight for Wealthy Nationals

Sydney Gangsters Accused of Laundering for International Drug Cartels


Today, the entire global AML compliance and regulatory bodies are proud as a massive property raid has been successfully carried out. Australian Federal Agents uncovered one of the biggest Money Laundering trails; a Chinese-Australian Money Laundering organization has been arrested. An estimated $10 billion was illegally moved offshore, where Authorities managed to confiscate the luxury assets and properties worth millions of dollars.

The Raid

It was just yesterday that the Australian Federal Police seized luxury assets worth $ 150 million and arrested 9 suspects. Out of these 9 suspects, 2 are Chinese Australian gangsters residing in Sydney. Both have an accumulated wealth of over $ 1 billion.

Sources report that the authorities cracked down on the Chinese Organized Crime Ring's Land Grab in Sydney! A property-buying spree, which reportedly included the acquisition of land for a new Chinese-owned suburb near the city's international airport, has been brought to a halt with multiple arrests. An official source reveals the stunning details.

AFP’s Operation Avarus-Midas

In a game-changing move, the AFP has uncovered a far-reaching shadow banking network operating on an industrial scale across continents, including Australia, Asia, the Caribbean, Switzerland, America, and UAE. This underground organization allegedly facilitated the purchase of multi-billion dollar Australian real estate through money laundering activities. The severity of the situation prompted the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to designate the syndicate as an Australian Priority Organisation Target last year, as it posed a significant threat to the national interest.

Police also confiscated cryptocurrency in huge amounts after a breathtaking pursuit to put an end to this cybercrime. Assistant Commissioner of AFP Miss Kristy Schofield revealed that the criminals arrested will be charged with up to 25 years imprisonment along with heavy fines. Their money laundering case details are as follows:

  • The arrested individuals' names are Steven Xin and Zhaohua Ma. Also, there is a mid-level employee of the National Australia Bank named CHen Zhang arrested under the same charges. An accountant and a lawyer were also arrested.
  • NAB (National Australian Bank) worked shoulder to shoulder with AFP as they were the prime target of the Money Laundering syndicate.
  • Luxury houses bought by the syndicate members were seized by the police. The properties are worth $ 62 million in different posh locations in Australia. These include Cawdor, Camden Vaucluse and Bellevue Hill.
  • Operation Avarus-Midas highlighted the policy gaps and legislative loopholes where criminals exploited the system.
  • The accused crime organization Xin Money Laundering (MLO) exploited the Australian Migration System. In response to this, the Victorian Police commissioner Christine Nixon has been appointed to investigate this case.

Further Details

The recent allegations surrounding a lawyer, ex-migration agent, and accountant's involvement in the operations and property purchases of the Xin MLO are intensifying the demand for the implementation of the long-delayed "Tranche 2" laws. These laws aim to enforce accountability on professionals such as lawyers, real estate agents, and accountants to report any suspicion of money laundering, similar to the obligations placed on bankers and casinos.

The swift acquisition of property raises concerns about the Foreign Investment Review Board's ability to protect Australian real estate and businesses from potentially illicit foreign funds.

According to Sam Boarder, head of the national security practice at McGrathNicol Advisory, the growth of transnational organized crime makes it imperative to move forward with Tranche 2 reforms to anti-money laundering laws.

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