Ram Khatry I 22 February 2019 I A Thai woman is in serious legal trouble after being arrested for running a Hundi-style remittance business which she allegedly used for suspected money-laundering syndicate.
Police detectives arrested the 27-year-old female yesterday from an address in South Strathfield.
The arrest came following a sustained investigation by detectives attached to Strike Force McKeon formed after fraud and money-laundering activities were reported back in August 2018.
Police statement suggests the modus operandi of the arrested woman was somewhat like Hundi agents who often target members of the Nepalese diaspora living across Australia. Many victims are currently reeling under extreme financial and mental stress after losing their hard-earned cash to some Hundi agents who appear to be out and out morality-free zones.
Another parallel between the accused Thai woman’s alleged illegal operation and Hundi agents targeting Nepalese expatriates is the use of social media to offer cutthroat exchange rates.
Hundi, an informal and traditional remittance method that originated in South Asia, is illegal in Nepal.
However, agents that operate Hundi enterprise in Australia are said to be legally registered remittance businesses. However, they do not remit funds to Nepal through the legal channel.
There have been a number of “high profile” scandals involving Hundi agents servicing members of the Nepalese diaspora, very vulnerable members of the diaspora, most recently in Melbourne where two Hundi agents are believed to be owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the victims of their fraudulent enterprises. At least two victims of a travel agent cum Hundi operator in Melbourne have been in contact with southasia.com.au with one providing a list of victims whose accumulated lost funds amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The southasia.com.au has made a number of attempts to contact the disgraced Hundi agent, who southasia.com.au chose not to identify, but without success.
The Thai woman arrested yesterday has been charged with an alleged $9 million-dollar fraud and money laundering syndicate targeting the Thai-Australian community across NSW.
As a result of investigations spanning well over a year, detectives from Strike Force McKeon executed two search warrants at a South Strathfield home and a unit yesterday.
According to a police statement, officers were able to seize high-end merchandise from the two addresses believed to be associated with the illegal remittance business. Officers seized 15 pairs of high-end women’s shoes including brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
The alleged illegal business meant the accused had no shortage of cash in order to access to designer handbags, including a number of Chanel and Prada items.
Once she was taken to the Auburn Police Station, the 27-year-old Thai woman was charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception.
Police will allege in court the woman claimed to be a registered remitter and used social media to advertise inflated rates for exchanging money.