Scam accused refused bail

Three people accused of being involved in a telephone scam have been refused bail after appearing in Griffith Local Court on Wednesday.
Nanjing Night Net

Workers at Hanwood Post Office became suspicious when two of the accused attempted to cash a $9500 money order on Tuesday afternoon.

Inspector Scott Wilkinson from Griffith Local Area Command said the postal workers contacted the person who paid for the money order and then called the police.

“Detectives attended and arrested them about 4.30pmon Tuesday,” Inspector Wilkinson said.

“They were ringing people telling them they owe the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) money and if they don’t pay up they’ll be locked up by the police.”

Following the arrest at Hawood Post Office, detectives went to a Coolah Street home and arrested a third person over the matter.

“Theyexecuted a search warrant and recovered money, phones and documents,”Inspector Wilkinson said.

“Three non-residents were charged with dishonestly obtaining a benefit by deception.”

Amitkumar Hasmukhbhai Patel, a 33-year-old foreign worker, was arrested and charged along with 40-year-old Ashaben Patel over the $9500 money order.

Amitkumar was also charged over a similar incident involving a $5000 money order along with 40-year-old Jitendrakumar Shivabhai Patel.

Inspector Wilkinson said they were targeting vulnerable people.

“One of the victims was from Queensland and the other was from South Australia,”Inspector Wilkinson said.

“It’s a widespread sort of thing, they’re not just targeting local people.

“The Australian Federal Police and ATO have been contacted and we are assisting them in relation to the matter.”

Inspector Wilkinson said if anyone received this sort of phone call they shouldhang up immediately and report the matter to their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“Any sort of solicitation of funds over the phone should be treated with suspicion, no government department engages in that sort of activity,” Inspector Wilkinson said.

ATO assistant commissioner Thomas Ryan said they would never intimidate taxpayers in such a threatening and demeaning manner.

All three appeared before Griffith Local Court on Wednesday and were refused bail. They will appear via video link onOctober 28.

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