brad brace

4/29/2008

Man charged over Pacific money laundering scheme

Filed under: global islands,intra-national,vanuatu,wealth — admin @ 5:52 am

A 58-year-old Australian man is due to be extradited to from Western Australia to the state of New South Wales after police broke up an international money laundering scheme.

The alleged scheme operated in Australia, Vanuatu and New Zealand and involved around $US87 million.

Robert Agius, who had been living in Vanuatu, has been charged with fraud and money laundering offences relating to the scheme, which was exposed by a police task force targeting tax evasion.

Australian federal police officer, Warren Gray, says around 400 people put money into a scheme, allegedly operated by Agius, in which millions of dollars was moved into offshore bank accounts to avoid tax

Agius was arrested on Monday in the western Australian city of Perth, and appeared briefly in court where he was ordered to be returned to Sydney to face trial.

He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if convicted.

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