…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Police in Western Australia were left stunned after discovering $1.8 million in cash in the boot of a hire car during a routine stop.
Officers from the Transnational and Serious Organised Crime Squad pulled over a 36-year-old man in Southern Cross, 371km east of Perth, on Thursday, as he was travelling towards the eastern states.
They searched the vehicle and found a large suitcase in the boot containing a duffel bag filled with cash.
The man was charged with property laundering, which Detective Senior Sergeant Steve Carter said was “the highest charge in relation to money offences.”
It is believed he will face other charges, and others could also be charged.
The man hired the car in Perth, and police are investigating the origins of the cash. Sergeant Carter said it was “highly likely” that the man was involved in organised crime activity, and that the police were investigating the matter further.
The police were made aware of the man due to a joint investigation with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The suspect, who is from the eastern states, will appear before Perth Magistrates Court on June 16.
This incident highlights the efforts of law enforcement agencies in cracking down on organised crime and money laundering activities.
It also shows the importance of joint investigations between various government agencies in tackling such crimes.
The discovery of such a large amount of cash raises questions about the sources of the money and the activities it may be linked to.
Law enforcement agencies must continue to work together to uncover the origins of illicit funds and prevent them from entering the financial system.