Advertisement

Woman loses $1.5m in alleged visa scam

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Newswire Photos - MAY 23 2023: A general stock view of Police tape on a crime scene in Sydney. Picture : NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard
Three people have been charged in relation to the alleged scam. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

An alleged immigration scam running out of Sydney’s lower north shore has led to charges being laid against three people.

Investigations into the alleged scam began in February 2021 after detectives received reports that a 46-year-old woman had been scammed out of $1.5m by three people.

Police say the woman was trying to arrange an Australian visa with an immigration company based in Chatswood.

Police will allege three people who worked at the company were hired by the woman in 2017 to help her and her family obtain citizenship for payment of $1.5m.

Instead, it is alleged the three people transferred the funds into personal bank accounts, forged documentation such as citizenship documents, and failed to assist the woman secure a visa.

It is alleged the woman lost $1.5m in an immigration scam based out of Sydney. Picture: YouTube
It is alleged the woman lost $1.5m in an immigration scam based out of Sydney. Picture: YouTube

At about 10am on Thursday, May 4, 2023, police arrested a 36-year-old man at a residence in Narwee.

The man was charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime greater than $5000, publishing a false misleading statement to deceive and participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.

The 36-year-old was granted strict conditional bail and will appear before Bankstown Local Court on June 6.

Detectives also executed a search warrant at a Turramurra home at around 8am on Tuesday, May 23, finding mobile phones, laptops, hard drives, passports and documentation.

The items were seized to undergo forensic examination, while a 42-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman were arrested.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Newswire Photos - MAY 23 2023: A general stock view of Police tape on a crime scene in Sydney. Picture : NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard
Three people have been charged in relation to the alleged scam. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

The man was subsequently charged with dishonestly obtaining property by deception and participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.

The woman was charged with three counts of using false documents to obtain financial advantage, two counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and two counts of participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.

Both the man and woman were also charged with knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime with intent to conceal, and the man also with knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime, all of which are serious indictable offences.

The two were also granted strict conditional bail and will face Hornsby Local Court on June 14.