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Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Government restrains business in money laundering bust

In a first for the Territory, ACT Policing has seized and restrained a Belconnen tattoo studio that was allegedly being used to launder money by outlaw motorcycle gangs.

ACT Policing Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said their Financial Investigations Team successfully applied to the Supreme Court in June for the restraint of Lakeside Tattoo Parlour.

“We did that on the back of evidence that we had that that tattoo parlour was being utilised by outlaw motorcycle gangs to launder money,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of cash moved, those exact figures I don’t have at the moment … We believe they were from various organised criminal activity, but mainly from the supply of drugs.”

Detective Superintendent Moller said the court approved for the seizure and restraint of that business in July.

“As such, ACT Policing took control of the business, changed the locks, and we’ve hence shut the business down.”

He said the main arrest relating to this crime was conducted some time ago, and that this was follow-up action.

ACT Minister for Policing Mick Gentleman said the restraint and closure of the business has come on the back of work done by two forensic accountants in conjunction with ACT Policing.

“We are equipping ACT Policing with the tools and resources they need to combat organised crime,” he said.

“We’ll see where the proceeds of crime can be reused in the ACT.”

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the restraint of the business came on the back of the Government’s legal framework designed to dismantle organised crime through the confiscation of criminal assets.

“These measures will continue to disrupt organised crime groups by preventing their capacity to invest illegally obtained funds into what appear to be legitimate businesses.

Lakeside Tattoo Parlour owners Canberra Tattoo Studio released a statement on social media on 29 July announcing the closure of Lakeside Tattoo Parlour.

“All tattooists and owner who have not been involved in the recent events leading to Lakeside’s closure would like to take this opportunity to announce that we are in the process of reopening a new business unaffiliated with those involved,” they said.

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