Unexplained Wealth Probe: Luxury Cars, Gold Seized by NSW Police

State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad and the NSW Crime Commission have seized more than $7 million worth of property, luxury cars, gold bullions and high-end handbags as part of a joint investigation into unexplained wealth.

Enhanced powers to target and confiscate unexplained wealth and assets were introduced by the NSW Government in February this year.

In July, the NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) and Organised Crime Squad commenced a joint investigation into assets believed to have been accumulated through organised criminal activity in Sydney’s west.

As part of ongoing inquiries, from 8.30am yesterday (Thursday 14 September 2023), detectives – with assistance from Raptor Squad – executed search warrants at properties in Padstow, Yagoona, Bankstown, Picnic Point, Peakhurst, and Drummoyne.

At the Padstow address, police located and seized 14 luxury handbags including Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, five luxury ‘man bags’, cartier jewellery, $10,000 cash, and four luxury watches by Rolex, Breitling and Cartier.

In Yagoona, police located and seized a case of gold bullion estimated to be worth $80,000.

At the property in Bankstown, police seized a 2021 BMW S1000R motorcycle, a 1971 Mazda RX2, a 1983 Holden Gemini, a 2018 McLaren MA3 Coup and over $20,000 in cash.

At about 5.30pm in Drummoyne – with assistance from the Public Order & Riot Squad – police executed a search warrant where they seized an additional 2021 Lamborghini Aventador.

A number of electronic devices and documents were also seized, with all items taken for further forensic examination.

Organise Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Peter Faux, said the new powers mean police can come down harder on organised criminals and their associates.

“Having these new powers and working closely with the NSWCC provides us with additional capabilities to target those that aid or facilitate the concealment of unexplained wealth.”

“We know those at the top end of organised criminal networks follow the money – so having improved powers to target that money means we’re able to get to those right at the top,” Det Supt Faux said.

“The big players tend to enjoy the wealth whilst keeping their heads down and their hands clean, but now we have the authority to put them before a court to show us how they made their money – something many of them will struggle to do.”

Executive Director of the New South Wales Crime Commission, Darren Bennett, added the new powers allow police to seize assets without a specific offence.

“Police no longer need a specific offence to be able to seize and freeze wealth and assets – we now only need evidence and intelligence.

“The next step is civil court, where the owner of those assets is required to justify the goods were acquired through legal income. If they can’t do that, the assets are ultimately returned to the people of New South Wales,” Mr Bennett said.

“The NSW Government has recently enhanced the Crime Commission’s capabilities in this space, and this job is just the start of many more unexplained wealth investigations to come.”

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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