Australian authorities have arrested three men who are accused of trying to avoid tax by using a network of companies to send profits offshore and return millions of dollars to Australia as “loans”.
The Australian Federal Police today announced that a 65-year-old Chatswood man, 69-year-old Point Piper man and 69-year-old Belgian national have been arrested as part of the cross-agency Project Wickenby.
The men face charges relating to the transfer of $30 million into Australia.
The people arrested established a complicated network of offshore companies which were used to conduct business in Australia.
Profits derived from this activity were retained offshore, untaxed. The profits were then transferred back to Australian companies controlled by the offenders and disguised as loans, which it will be alleged fraudulently reduced the tax liabilities of those companies.
As a result, the people arrested received a benefit of approximately $4.9 million over a five year period.
The trio will appear before the Sydney Central Local Court today, and could face 10 years in prison for conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth and 25 years for conspiring to deal in the proceeds of crime.