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AFP Raids Expose $230M Laundered Through Changjiang Currency Exchange

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) uncovered the Long River syndicate, laundering $229 million through Changjiang Currency Exchange, leading to arrests.

Key Takeaways

  • Long River syndicate laundered $229 million through Changjiang Currency Exchange.
  • 7 arrests made in Melbourne as part of Operation Avarus-Nightwolf.
  • AFP reveals connections between the exchange and money laundering groups.
  • Syndicate members lived luxurious lifestyles to evade detection.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has unveiled a massive money laundering syndicate known as the Long River syndicate, which is suspected of using the Changjiang Currency Exchange as a front for laundering approximately $229 million in illicit funds over the past three years.

Changjiang Currency Exchange Exposed

In a series of coordinated raids carried out under Operation Avarus-Nightwolf, authorities seized high-end properties and vehicles valued at an estimated $50 million.

The Long River syndicate had allegedly been operating a complex money laundering network, utilizing the Changjiang Currency Exchange as a key element of their operation. Over the course of three years, nearly $229 million in illicit funds were funneled through a network of twelve establishments scattered across Australia.

As a result of the investigation, four Chinese nationals and three Australians were arrested in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, all suspected of playing a role in the syndicate’s activities. They are now set to face charges in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in the coming days.

Unveiling the Intricate Web

Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dametto of the AFP explained that the investigation was initiated due to suspicions surrounding the expansion of the Changjiang Currency Exchange during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The significant growth raised eyebrows, especially considering the decrease in international students and tourists during the same period.

The AFP uncovered alleged links between the Changjiang Currency Exchange and known money laundering groups. They claim that over the past three years, the exchange chain facilitated over $10 billion in transfers for organized criminals.

To Conclude

The Long River syndicate’s alleged activities demonstrate the evolving sophistication of money laundering operations in the digital age. The syndicate’s ability to seamlessly integrate with a legitimate currency exchange and move vast sums of illicit funds highlights the ongoing challenge faced by law enforcement agencies.

The investigation’s success and the subsequent arrests send a clear message that authorities are committed to disrupting the flow of illegal money within Australia. As technology advances, so too do the methods used by criminal organizations, but this operation shows that law enforcement agencies are adapting to meet these challenges head-on.