FAKE ID NSW: Arrests made after discovery of package containing materials used to manufacture fake IDs
Immigrations officials have been joined by a task-force of NSW police and federal agents in the arrests of four suspects – two Indian males, aged 25 and 41, and a male and female from Canley Vale, aged 57 and 40 – alleged to be manufacturing fake IDs, credit cards, and Medicare identification cards.
The arrests come after Customs officials, headed by regional commander Tim Fitzgerald, seized an inbound package from China considered high-risk. Inside the package officers discovered 5,000 holograms containing the NSW emblem and coat of arms, likely intended for the fabrication of fake driving licenses.
One suspect is accused of using the manufactured fake NSW IDs to gain travel on a domestic flight. It is also suspected the forged credit cards were used to defraud a number of Sydney based financial institutions. Police do not think the suspects were planning any other activities.
During the search of properties in Canley Vale, Lakemba, and Rockdale policed also seized numerous mobile phones, templates, bank statements and other materials related to the manufacturing and use of fraudulent IDs. A fifth arrest – a 50-year-old Vietnamese man – was made during the search; however, police say it was in relation to immigration issues.
Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, in charge of the NSW fraud department, said the suspects operation was “highly sophisticated”. Katsogiannis went on to say, “You can see the sophistication of this particular syndicate by the equipment we have seized; the printing machines, computers full of data that they were using to produce the Sydney fake IDs and apply for fake applications for banks, credit cards and the like”.
Both fabricated and real identifies were used on the documents. Police say there in the process of trying to contact the effected individuals but have not yet managed to reach everybody. They also stated they are unsure if they will be making further arrests but are working with both domestic and foreign agencies while they continue their investigations.
Two of the suspects are being held in custody awaiting trial, while the other two have been released on conditional bail. If convicted of the offences alleged the suspects can face up to 10 years in prison.