October 27, 2023 3 min read


Federal Police in Australia Busts Massive Money Laundering Operation

Law enforcement alleges that a money remitter business was tied to a criminal organization from China and engaged in money laundering

A massive investigation against money laundering in Australia resulted in the arrest of members believed to be cooperating with a Chinese organized crime syndicate. On Wednesday, more than 240 Australian Federal Police (AFP) members along with nearly 100 specialist members executed 20 search warrants across the country. The operation against money laundering alleges that the Changjiang Currency Exchange, a money remitters business, is related to the Long River money laundering syndicate. Police authorities allege that the remitter business laundered nearly AU$229 million ($145.5 million) in proceeds obtained by criminal activities over the last three years.

Suspicion against the Changjiang Currency Exchange arose during the pandemic. At the time, the AFP investigators’ attention was drawn to the remitter business that continued to operate despite everything else shutting down. Claims against the company that had shops across the country state that it was used as a front for a large-scale money laundering operation transferring money in and out of Australia. AFP alleges that the Changjiang Currency Exchange masked the transactions from criminal activities by asking such customers to produce fake invoices or bank statements.

Moreover, the Changjiang Currency Exchange allegedly “sought to avoid undue regulatory attention by actively making efforts to appear legitimate in its reporting,” explains a statement released by the AFP. The AFP alleged that the money remitting chain was secretly run by the Long River money laundering syndicate, a Chinese organized crime syndicate.

Overall, the investigation against the Changjiang Currency Exchange has taken 14 months. Upon executing search warrants this week, law enforcement arrested three Australian citizens, as well as four Chinese nationals. Additionally, during the operation, assets valued at more than AU$50 million ($31.8 million) in the form of property and vehicles were restrained.

The Operation Involved Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies

The anti-money laundering operation, called Avarus-Nightwolf, saw the participation of the Australian Border Force, as well as the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). The AFP was also supported by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Taxation Office as well as the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

The AFP alleges that money laundering was conducted between 2020 and 2023. It is believed that the recent operation significantly impacted the flow of ill-gained funds in and out of Australia. Besides transferring ill-gained funds in and out of the country, the AFP alleges that the criminal organization failed to pay millions in taxes.

Money remitting chains in China are subject to scrutiny as they are often targeted by criminals involved in illegal gambling, drugs, money laundering or other criminal activities. It is yet to be confirmed what charges the alleged participants in the massive money laundering scheme may face in Australia.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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