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National News Australia

Cybercrime Squad charge five ‘money mules’ allegedly responsible for moving millions of fraudulent dollars

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Cybercrime Squad charge five ‘money mules’ allegedly responsible for moving millions of fraudulent dollars

PLEASE NOTE: NSWPF-branded footage of the arrests is available via Hightail – https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/0aB9sXFXs7/

© State of NSW (NSW Police Force). For editorial use only. No sublicensing of any NSW Police Force supplied image or footage allowed on a standalone basis without the express written consent of NSW Police Force. NSW Police Force attribution notice and logo to be retained on all copies of supplied images or footage with the moral rights to no false attribution and of integrity in all its images and footage asserted.

Cybercrime Squad detectives have charged five ‘money mules’ responsible for moving millions of dollars which were allegedly fraudulently obtained.

Strike Force Downstream was established by State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad – with the Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3) – into a criminal syndicate allegedly involved in moving approximately $3 million fraudulent money by purchasing untraceable commodities such as gold bullion and jewellery.

Detectives identified some of the fraudulent funds being moved by the group were alleged to be proceeds of Business Email Compromises (BEC) – which is when an offender gains access to a corporate email account to impersonate the real owner and defraud the company, its customers, partners and employees.

Following extensive inquiries, about 6am on Thursday 7 March 2024, strike force detectives – with assistance from Raptor Squad and officers attached to the Operational Support Group – executed three search warrants in Lakemba, Greenacre, and Doonside.

At the Lakemba address, detectives arrested an 18-year-old woman and 27-year-old man, who were taken to Campsie Police Station.

The woman was charged with two counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group. The man was charged with three counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group.

Both were refused bail and appeared before Bankstown Local Court on Friday 8 March 2024.

In Greenacre, police arrested a 25-year-old man. He was taken to Bankstown Police Station and charged with nine offences, including knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, two counts of deal with property proceeds of crime < $100000, deal with property proceeds of crime => $100000, participate in a criminal group, possess unauthorised pistol, and three counts of possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit.

The man was refused bail and appeared before Bankstown Local Court the same day.

A third person – a 27-year-old man – was arrested in Doonside and taken to Blacktown Police Station, where he was charged with two counts of knowingly deal proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group.

He was refused bail and appeared before Blacktown Local Court on Thursday 7 March 2024.

Following further inquiries, about 9.30am on Tuesday 12 March 2024, strike force detectives – with assistance from North West Metropolitan Operational Support Group – executed a search warrant in Riverstone where they arrested a 20-year-old man.

He was taken to Riverstone Police Station where he was charged with two counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group.

The man was refused bail and appeared in Blacktown Local Court on Wednesday 13 March 2024.

Commander of the Cybercrime Squad, Detective Superintendent Matt Craft said Business Email Compromises (BECs) are on the rise and warned business owners to be on the lookout.

“In the last financial year, we saw a 15% increase in Business Email Compromises,” Det Supt Craft said.

“Now is a great time for businesses to review their practices and procedures before authorising changes to accounting information.”

Detective Superintendent Craft also praised the capability of the JPC3.

“Where cybercrime is concerned, all Australian law enforcement agencies are strongly connected and focused on reducing crime through such avenues as the JPC3 – a purpose-built centre housing all jurisdictions sunder the one roof,” Det Supt Craft said.

“Not only are we working together across agencies and across borders, but the Cybercrime Squad is also proving it’s strength in conducting investigations that require a high degree of collaboration with private industry, such as the banks.”

Investigations under Strike Force Downstream continue.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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National News Australia

Teenager Charged with Terrorism Offence After Sydney Church Stabbing

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Teenager Charged with Terrorism Offence After Sydney Church Stabbing

In a significant development, a 16-year-old adolescent has been formally charged with a terrorism offence today, stemming from an intensive investigation conducted by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team Sydney in relation to an alleged stabbing incident at a church in Sydney.

The events unfolded on Monday evening, April 15, 2024, around 7:10 pm, when law enforcement authorities responded to distressing reports of a stabbing incident at a church situated at the intersection of Box Road and Welcome Street in Wakeley. Upon arrival, officers from the Fairfield City Police Area Command encountered a 53-year-old individual with severe head injuries, indicating the gravity of the situation. Additionally, a 39-year-old man sustained lacerations and a shoulder injury while attempting to intervene in the altercation.
The situation escalated further as it was revealed that a 16-year-old male, who had been restrained by members of the public, was subsequently apprehended by law enforcement personnel. Following this, investigators from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team Sydney took a proactive step by attending a medical facility later in the day, Thursday, April 18, 2024, to conduct a thorough interview with the adolescent suspect.

Subsequently, the 16-year-old was formally charged under section 101.1 of the Criminal Code Act (Commonwealth) 1995 for committing a terrorist act. This offence carries a severe penalty of imprisonment for life, highlighting the gravity of the charges laid against the individual. The accused has been denied bail and is slated to appear before a bedside court hearing scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, April 19, 2024.

The Joint Counter Terrorism Team Sydney, comprising personnel from the NSW Police Force, Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and NSW Crime Commission, has been instrumental in swiftly responding to and investigating the matter, underscoring the collaborative efforts in ensuring public safety and security.
In light of these developments, authorities urge members of the public to remain vigilant and report any information related to extremist activities or potential threats to community safety, emphasizing the importance of every piece of information, regardless of its perceived significance. Individuals can contact the National Security Hotline at 1800 123 400 to report any relevant information.

Furthermore, individuals with information pertaining to criminal activities are encouraged to reach out to Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000 or via the online portal at https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. All information provided will be treated with utmost confidentiality, and the public is reminded to refrain from reporting information through NSW Police social media channels.

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National News Australia

What do you do if you are the first on the scene of a crash, or arrive before emergency services?

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What do you do if you are the first on the scene of a crash, or arrive before emergency services?

 

Some people do, many people don’t.

Do I get out and help?

It’s an individual’s choice to stop at a crash scene.

Most people should stop if they feel confident.

The reason for that is because they may at some stage render life-saving assistance or at least evaluate the scene and provide that information to emergency services or police.

Whether a motorist should stop can also depend on the location.

For example, on a bridge it’d be fairly difficult, you’re going to create a lot of disruption there.

If you come across a crash there the best thing to do is ring triple zero as we can get the emergency services there before it becomes congested.

It can also depend on conditions and whether it’s safe.

Not only do you have to consider the safety of the persons in the crash, your own safety has to be paramount as well, because you’re no good to us or anyone else if you’ve been run over.

Do I direct the traffic?

Most police would prefer members of the public did not get out and direct traffic at a crash scene.

That’s the job of emergency services, in particular police and sometimes TfNSW and Councils.

Directing traffic is quite difficult and quite dangerous — you’ll never see police doing it without wearing hi-vis protective clothing, a torch, a wand, a police vehicle parked nearby with emergency lights flashing so we can warn people. Some cars nowadays come with cones and triangles, etcetera, that you can put out in an emergency-type situation.

Don’t forget to call triple-0

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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Local News

Next major step in reforming emergency services funding

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Next major step in reforming emergency services funding

 

The public is invited to have their say on the best path forward to reform the way emergency services are funded via a consultation paper which is now online.

The NSW Government is encouraging views on the design and scope of a new model to replace the current system which places the burden of an Emergency Services Levy (ESL) on insurance premiums.

Currently, only households and businesses that pay for insurance are paying the levy to fund Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW State Emergency Service.

The NSW Government last November announced the levy would be removed from insurance and applied instead to property.

The ESL Consultation Paper is seeking feedback on four possible models to create a sustainable system that will spread the costs across all property owners.

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring any new model will include protections for pensioners and vulnerable members of the community. The model will also be revenue-neutral and continue to be determined solely by the funding needs of the three agencies.

As climate change increases the instances of natural disasters, the funding requirements of our emergency services are expected to continue rising, increasing the ESL, and making insurance more unaffordable.

In fact, NSW Treasury estimates that the total annual cost of flood and bushfire to the economy is projected to increase from $7 billion in 2020-21 to $24 billion by 2070-71 as climate change related extreme weather events become more frequent and intense.

The existing ESL has pushed insurance premiums in NSW up by around 18 per cent for residential property and around 34 per cent higher for commercial property.

Rising costs now mean more than one-third of households in NSW do not have home contents insurance – which is the highest rate of any state in the nation.

The Government is asking for feedback on a range of design features, including how levy rates should apply to different property types and locations, how the levy should be collected, and what protections should be provided for pensioners and other vulnerable groups.

The release of the Consultation Paper follows the announcement of a Stakeholder Reference Group which is providing the Government with a broad range of expert advice on a new model.

The Consultation Paper is open for feedback until 22 May 2024, and can be found here.

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said:

“Public feedback is an important step in reforming the way emergency services are funded into the future.

“I want to ensure that we create a lasting system where everyone contributes to the crucial emergency services we all rely on.

“We’re encouraging industry stakeholders and the wider community to express their views now so the new funding model for emergency services in NSW is fair, efficient, simple and adapted to the future impacts of climate change.”

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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