The lawyer for the geriatric money laundering ring has come out swinging against the Australian Tax Office and its Project Wickenby calling it a “Gestapo unit”.
The barrister representing the three accused told the SMH:
Operation Wickenby is a disgrace to public administration in Australia…One of the top priorities of the Abbott Government should be shutting down this Gestapo unit, and sacking all its members.
What seems to have incensed the accused trio’s barrister, John Hyde Page, are comments from ATO deputy Commisioner Greg Williams yesterday that the arrests are a “warning to people who abuse tax secrecy havens”.
Operation Wickenby has been responsible for some very high profile scalps and “marketing” after arrests seem to be a big part of the deterrent value of this ATO initiative.
But Hyde Page might have a point here given that the accused are, well, just accused at the moment.
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