Police are looking for the owner of $1.8 million in cash found in the back of a Toyota HiAce
- Police arrest Toyota HiAce with $1.8 million in it
- Driver has kept his mouth shut about who owns the money
- Five men arrested in suspected drug gang
There’s $1.8 million in cash in a police cell for someone to claim, but a significant jail sentence is likely.
Police discovered the staggering amount in vacuum-sealed plastic bags stashed in a Toyota HiAce pulled over late last year.
The vehicle was stopped at 10:50 pm on October 27 in Abbotsbury, a western Sydney suburb, by officers from the NSW Raptor organized crime unit.
Investigators discovered the bags of money stashed on a pallet and seized it with new powers that give the owner of the money 60 days to report or else it will be forfeited.
The driver of the HiAce remained tight-lipped about who owned the money and has been released pending further investigation.
NSW Police seized $1.8 million in cash stashed in Toyota HiAce that stopped in Western Sydney last October
A second vehicle was also pulled over during the same operation in Sydney and yielded both drugs and $92,547 in cash.
Police will claim the vehicles are being used by a Western Australian cross-border crime syndicate that sends drivers to the eastern states with cash to buy drugs and bring them back.
Five men in Western Australia, aged between 27 and 36, have been arrested in connection with drug and money laundering seizures.
The seizure of the money is the first under new laws on confiscation of proceeds of crime by the NSW Crime Commission.
NSW police will claim the money was sent by a Western Australia-based crime syndicate to buy drugs in the eastern states and sail back
The laws, which went into effect Feb. 1, allow the commission to seize and hold money or other assets suspected to be the proceeds of a crime until either is claimed because they are forfeited.
“This mechanism will save the court time and reduce the work that crime commissioners have to do to seize crime proceeds when no one wants to claim the property,” said crime commission chief Michael Barnes. Daily telegram.
“There are safeguards in place to ensure that no one with a legitimate interest in lawfully obtained property is harmed, but in many cases where large amounts of cash are found, those involved are more interested in denying any knowledge of it.”