Phone store

Mobile phone store manager charged after detection of thousands of fraudulent SIM cards used by OCNs

Criminal Groups Squad detectives have charged the manager of a mobile phone shop with nearly 30 offenses after he allegedly sold thousands of fraudulent SIM cards used to facilitate the sale of cocaine and other illicit drugs.

In July 2021, detectives from the Criminal Groups Squad set up Strike Force Sugarcane to investigate the activities of an organized crime network (OCN) based in south-west Sydney.

Their investigations revealed that the OCN controlled a significant illicit drug distribution chain, from importation to street-level supply.

This included uncovering the operations of a sophisticated “call-a-dealer” syndicate, which operated numerous cell phones for the purposes of drug distribution and supply throughout New South Wales.

On Tuesday (24 May 2022), a large-scale police operation – coordinated by Taskforce Erebus – resulted in the arrest of 18 men in south-west Sydney for various drug supplies, firearms, proceeds of crime and direct or participatory criminal group offences. They remain in court.

After further investigations, Strike Force detectives executed a criminal organization search warrant at a business on South Street in Granville just after 10am yesterday (Thursday May 26, 2022).

During a subsequent search, police seized electronic devices, pre-activated SIM cards, fraudulent personal identification documents and other items for further forensic examination.

A 30-year-old man was arrested and taken to Granville Police Station and has since been charged with 27 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial benefits by deception, felony assisting a criminal group knowingly or by recklessness and knowingly taking material advantage of a criminal group.

Police will allege in court that the man provided several thousand pre-subscribed fraudulent SIM cards to people involved in serious criminal offenses in south-west Sydney, including members of the cocaine supply syndicate’ Ready 4 War” “dial-a-dealer”.

He was refused bail to appear in Parramatta Local Court today (Friday 27th May 2022).

Crime Groups Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Grant Taylor said Strike Force Sugarcane investigators have now turned their attention to those who facilitate serious organized crime.

“The men we arrested earlier this week could not have facilitated their ongoing criminal exploits without the help of trusted enablers and insiders, including the man in court today,” said Detective Superintendent Taylor.

“Most of the high-ranking members of this OCN have now fled overseas, are being denied bail or are on restrictive orders and conditions, so for the police it is now a matter of targeting those who enable and facilitate their infringement.

“Investigators are working our way down the pyramid, and we still have many more to come, so please watch this space,” Detective Superintendent Taylor said.

Investigations by Strike Force Sugarcane are continuing.

Anyone with information that could assist Strike Force Sugarcane investigators should contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. The information is treated in a strictly confidential manner. The public are reminded not to report information through the NSW Police social media pages.

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