WA Police believe they have made the biggest single seizure of cash in Australian history as part of an ongoing operation targeting illegal movements across the border.
The operation uncovered so much cash it is still being counted — with WA Police confident it will smash NSW’s record of $8.5 million.
“While the current count is still being undertaken, we believe there’s a very good opportunity that the amount of money seized … will exceed that (NSW) amount,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Allan Adams told reporters on Tuesday.
During the operation last month, police seized six cardboard boxes, which contained more than $5.9 million in cash.
The cash was believed to be destined for NSW and linked to a seizure of 4kg of methylamphetamine in August.
Four men, ranging in age from 27 to 61, were charged with money laundering and they are progressing through the court system.
The 27-year-old man has also been charged over the meth seizure.
A fifth man, aged 32, whom police allege was found in possession of the drugs, was charged in August and is also going through the court system.
Two trucks were then intercepted last week, with the first stopped in Meckering allegedly carrying about $2.9 million.
A 53-year-old man from NSW and a 47-year-old man from Queensland, who were both in the truck, have been charged with money laundering.
A 42-year-old man, accused of delivering the cash, has also been charged.
The second truck was intercepted in Coolgardie and the cash is still being counted, but it could surpass the $9 million collected so far in the operation, police said.
“The current count (on the second truck) … we believe will be the highest single seizure in Australian history,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Adams said.
“A reasonable estimate is that the money that we’re currently counting is likely to compete with the combined amount … (of) just under $9 million.”
He said the money seized had been heading back to the east coast where it would have likely been used to fund further drug distribution activities.
Police were sending a strong message to criminals that “you don’t do evil business” in WA.
“Our response to those peddlers of death in our community will be relentless and continuous,” he said.
Originally published as Astonishing record cash seizure in WA