Police investigate possible money laundering racket
POLICE are investigating the possibility of a money laundering racket in Coffs Harbour after two people were arrested in relation to the theft of hundreds of thousands worth of property.
Acting Coffs Clarence Crime Manager Detective Inspector Peter O'Reilly said two people have been arrested over the theft of two motorcycles from a dealership, and for allegedly breaking into businesses and residences in Coffs Harbour and Sapphire Beach on Wednesday evening.
The 35-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were charged after police searched homes on Beryl St and Kurrajong St, turning up two stolen motorcycles and other goods including washing machines, as well as drugs.
It's alleged the man and woman drove to the store on Isles Dr in a stolen van before taking the motorbikes, which were on display at the time.
Det Insp O'Reilly said a separate incident this week also saw the theft of two motorcycles from a residence.
"Two motorcycles were stolen from a business in Isles Dr, Coffs Harbour on Tuesday and there were two other motorcycles stolen from a residence in Coffs Harbour as well in a separate incident," he said.
"Further to that we had some businesses and residences broken into on Wednesday evening.
"Some good work by local anti-theft officers together with detectives and the Coffs Harbour Region Enforcement Squad lead us to the two addresses where we conducted two search warrants.
"There is still one motorcycle outstanding and we're making further inquiries into the break and enter and property offences to see if there are any links to money laundering."
Det Insp O'Reilly said the stolen motorcycles were worth in excess of $40,000 while the stolen goods were worth more than $50,000.
"We'd like to say to members of the public to be mindful of security. Don't leave items unsecured in your vehicles, if you're at home keep your windows and doors locked. People will take advantage of any opportunity."
The 35-year-old man has been charged with a string of offences including robbery in company, dishonestly obtain goods by advantage, deal with proceeds of crime (x3), and possess prohibited weapon.
He was refused bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today.
The 38-year-old woman was arrested at the Kurrajong St home and taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where she was charged with break, enter and steal, assault police, hinder police and other offences.
She was given bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on September 19.