Four men detained after two active boiler rooms raided on the Gold Coast — 17.08.2015
This is a joint CCC and QPS media release
Four men are in custody and two active boiler rooms have been shut down following a joint Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) investigation.
The CCC commenced Operation Unwind in March 2015 to investigate an alleged crime syndicate known as the ‘Irish Boys’ which was suspected of operating organised and sophisticated cold call investment frauds from the Gold Coast. At this time the CCC and the QPS established a joint taskforce to investigate the syndicate. Alleged victims of this syndicate are located throughout Australia and are believed to have been defrauded of at least $4 million over an 18-month period.
This morning the CCC and QPS executed search warrants at three business premises at Surfers Paradise, Bundall and Robina. Search warrants were also executed at residential properties throughout the Gold Coast region.
The CCC and QPS will allege two active boiler rooms were operating from the Surfers Paradise and Bundall properties. A number of people alleged to be employees are assisting the CCC and QPS with inquiries. A boiler room refers to an outbound call centre where victims are persuaded through false, misleading and deceptive information and practices to invest money in financial management schemes or computer software that will never achieve the promised returns.
All four men are alleged to be key operators of the syndicate. Two of the men in custody are Irish nationals.
A 33-year-old man, a 32-year-old man, a 36-year-old man and a 34-year-old man are expected to be formally charged with fraud offences later today.
The CCC and QPS were assisted today by officers from the Australian Tax Office, Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Queensland Office of Fair Trading.
The CCC’s Acting Executive Director Crime, Michael Scott, said today’s arrests would save many unsuspecting members of the public from losing money as a result of cold call investment frauds.
“We will allege this syndicate operated in an organised manner and we believe their primary motive was to defraud money from the public. The law enforcement action today will stop more Australians from falling victim to these bogus investment schemes. To date, we have identified over 150 victims but believe there are more,” Mr Scott said.
“The CCC will allege that these active boiler rooms sold fraudulent computer software and managed investment schemes. The companies behind this syndicate used techniques to deceive people including the use of virtual offices, false identities, fake receptionists and fake testimonials.”
The Queensland Police Service is committed to identifying those criminal groups who seek to target and defraud members of our community.
“It is concerning to us to think these groups are operating in Queensland, however in cooperation with our law enforcement and industry stakeholders we will seek out these syndicates and shut them down," Acting Assistant Commissioner Cameron Harsley said.
“Our message is clear, if you set up one of these operations in Queensland, we will be on your doorstep and will dismantle your operation."
The companies that have been the focus of Operation Unwind include:
- LTC Services Pty Ltd (LTC)
- AIC International Pty Ltd (AIC)
- Sansar Connect Pty Ltd (Sansar)
- Synergy Financials Pty Ltd (Synergy)
- Adamson's Financial Services Pty Ltd (AFS)
- Compass Capital Group Pty Ltd (CCG Markets)
- PH Trading Pty Ltd (Patterson Harvey)
The operation has identified victims throughout Australia.
Investigators from the joint CCC-QPS taskforce are interested in speaking with any person who believes they are a victim of these companies. Victims are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or email [email protected] .
The investigation remains ongoing.
A joint CCC and QPS media opportunity will be held at 1.30pm at CCC Headquarters to discuss this operation. As there is ongoing operational activity occurring, no further comment will be made until this time.
Media conference details:
Where: CCC Headquarters – Level 2, North Tower Green Square, 515 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley
When: 1.30pm. Media are asked to arrive before to allow appropriate time for sign-in procedures.
Who: CCC Acting Executive Director Crime, Michael Scott and QPS Acting Assistant Commissioner Cameron Harsley
What: Details of Operation Unwind and today’s arrests and information for victims throughout Australia
Footage: QPS Media will have footage available upon request. Please contact QPS Media on 07 3015 2444.