Three charged over alleged Comanchero money laundering operation

Source: 1News

Assets have been seized and three people have been charged, after police busted an alleged money laundering syndicate they say is tied to the Comanchero motorcycle gang.

According to police, three men have been arrested at properties across the Auckland region with over $650,000 worth of assets being frozen by police as part of Operation Rider.

Police say the arrests were of a patched member of the Comanchero motorcycle gang, an associate of the gang and a motor vehicle dealer.

All three, aged 35, 36 and 37, are facing charges relating to money laundering and participating in an organised crime group.

They are due to appear in the Auckland District Court on 24 June 2020.

Police arrested the men at properties at Silverdale, Sandringham and Mt Wellington.

Five high value luxury vehicles were restrained under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.

These included BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles.

According to police, one of the Mercedes is a rare limited edition G-Class wagon, worth over $250,000.

Detective Inspector Julian Rinckes says Operation Rider involved staff from the National Organised Crime Group and Northern Asset Recovery Unit.

"This operation began in late 2019 and looked into the alleged money laundering operations of the Comanchero motorcycle gang following on from Operation Nova."

It will be alleged that one of those charged has assisted this group with their professional skills to conceal their proceeds of crime, says Detective Inspector Rinckes.

"Those offering their professional services to organised criminal groups remain on notice that they are not immune to being held to account for their offending.

"Their involvement in illegal activity is coming to our attention and Police will continue to hold those involved in this sort of offending to account.

"Money laundering is not a victimless crime.

"By enabling organised crime groups to conceal the profits of their illegal activities, it is continuing a cycle of harm imposed on vulnerable communities that are preyed on by these groups."