Police raid on affluent suburb cracks sophisticated cartel

UPDATE: A CRACK police squad has cracked open a "sophisticated" and organised criminal syndicate involved in online fraudulent activity.  

OIC of the Inala Tactical Crime Squad, Senior Sergeant Mick Manago said it was an excellent haul, netting five stolen motorcycles, a VIN stamping machine, about 100 fake drivers licences.  

Multiple search warrants were executed through the South Brisbane and Ipswich Police districts, seizing a significant amount of evidence including183 grams of ice, four cannabis plants, commercial quality printers and blank ID cards and four other motorcycles.  

Officers last week raided a home in Spring Mountain, uncovering a $35,000 Ducati motorcycle. At another location they unearthed an electronic tablet with personal data for 12,000 people on it.  

"That was found in a secure little pelican case, buried in the garden," he said.  

"The crooks went to some effort to hide that, it was just through some outstanding police work, noticing the upturned dirt and a shovel nearby - that's what really gave the investigation some momentum.  

"We were starting to get loose intelligence about clone number plates and drug activity, and after some investigation, finding that case in that location, the job morphed into what it did."  

"They were quite sophisticated and they were committing numerous online frauds and living a very good life,"  

"They were purchasing assets, all funded through their illegal activities. Because they were generating fake IDs it was largely going unchecked."  

The syndicate was also involved in the theft of identification information and subsequent production of high quality forged IDs along with and drug activity.  

Twenty-two people have been charged with 567 offences including money laundering (over $500,000), fraud ($682,000 in total), forgery, obtaining or dealing with identification information, receiving tainted property, possessing drugs over schedule (methamphetamines) and producing dangerous drugs.  

Police are currently working to identify the source of the stolen identities.  

EARLIER: OFFICERS attached to the Inala Tactical Crime Squad have recently conducted Operation Quebec Detection targeting a sophisticated and organised criminal syndicate involved in online fraudulent activity.

Multiple search warrants have been executed on a number of target addresses throughout the South Brisbane and Ipswich Police Districts, seizing a significant amount of evidence including:

  • 183 grams of Methylamphetamine;
  • Four marijuana plants;
  • 92 identification cards such as driver licences, bank cards and Medicare cards that were either forged, reported stolen and/or fraudulently obtained;
  • An electronic device containing the identification information of more than 12,000 people;
  • commercial quality printers and blank ID cards;
  • A substantial number of fake drivers' licences;
  • Five motorcycles including a Ducati Monster - all suspected of being purchased fraudulently;
  • A VIN stamping machine.

The syndicate was also involved in the theft of identification information and subsequent production of high quality forged ID's along with and drug activity.

To date, the operation has resulted in 22 people being charged with 567 offences.

Some of these offences include money laundering (over $500,000), fraud ($682,000 in total), forgery, obtaining or dealing with identification information, UUMV, receiving tainted property, possessing drugs over schedule (methamphetamines) and producing dangerous drugs.

Police are currently working to identify the source of the stolen identities.

More to come...