Three Men Charged in $2.2 Million Fraudulent E-Tag Scheme

Three Men Charged in $2.2 Million Fraudulent E-Tag Scheme

Three Men Charged in $2.2 Million Fraudulent E-Tag Scheme

What measures can individuals take to protect themselves from falling victim to similar schemes?

Detectives from New South Wales’ Financial Crimes Squad have made significant progress in their investigation into a fraudulent e-tag scheme. Three men have been charged as part of this operation, which is estimated to be worth more than $2.2 million. Let’s dive into the details.

Three Men Charged in $2.2 Million Fraudulent E-Tag Scheme

The Financial Crimes Squad of New South Wales has made a breakthrough in their investigation of a fraudulent e-tag scheme. Their dedicated team, known as Strike Force Aratula, was established in January 2024 to dismantle an organized criminal network involved in selling e-tags linked to falsified payment methods. These methods included the use of fraudulent credit cards, which the criminals acquired from the dark web.

The detectives discovered that the scheme had been operating for approximately five years, with a staggering 800 e-tags in circulation. The majority of these e-tags were sold to unsuspecting taxi drivers, who unknowingly became part of the criminal enterprise.

Detective Superintendent Gordon Arbinja, head of the investigation, emphasized the importance of holding the alleged syndicate members accountable. Not only were they profiting from their illegal activities, but they were also exploiting innocent individuals’ identities and credit card details to fund their fraud.

In a coordinated effort on Tuesday morning, four search warrants were executed in Smithfield, Blacktown, Punchbowl, and Granville. This resulted in significant progress for the investigation, with the arrest of three key individuals. The 37-year-old man apprehended in Smithfield was charged with 204 fraud-related offenses, dealing with the proceeds of crime, and participating in a criminal group. Similarly, the 38-year-old man arrested in Blacktown faced charges of 32 fraud-related offenses, accessory before the fact of dealing with proceeds of crime, and participating in a criminal group. Lastly, the 28-year-old man apprehended in Punchbowl was charged with 35 fraud-related offenses and participating in a criminal group.

The search warrants conducted during the arrests yielded fruitful results. Police seized 74 e-tags, along with toll notices, electronic devices, $25,000 in cash, and a luxurious 2019 Mercedes-AMG coupe. Additionally, during their search of the Granville address, law enforcement intercepted a delivery of fraudulently purchased e-tags.

The court proceedings revealed that the syndicate had access to approximately 10,000 compromised identities and banking details. These stolen identities and financial information were purchased from an international website for a mere $150,000.

Building on the momentum of the arrests, the detectives collaborated with various transport agencies in New South Wales to conduct a compliance operation at Sydney Airport’s domestic terminal. Their focus was on the taxi marshalling area, where they engaged with 200 taxi drivers. During this operation, the police successfully confiscated 12 e-tags that were believed to be connected to the fraudulent scheme.

While the drivers found with the fraudulent e-tags were spoken to and released pending further investigations, the Financial Crimes Squad urges anyone with information related to this case to come forward. They can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit

The diligent efforts of the Financial Crimes Squad have undoubtedly disrupted a sophisticated criminal operation, highlighting the dedication of law enforcement agencies in safeguarding the community from fraud and identity theft.

Three Men Charged in $2.2 Million Fraudulent E-Tag Scheme

  • Strike Force Aratula was established in January 2024 to investigate an organised criminal network involved in the fraudulent e-tag scheme
  • 800 e-tags were found to be in circulation, with the majority sold to taxi drivers
  • During the search warrants, police seized 74 e-tags, toll notices, electronic devices, cash, and a luxury car
  • The syndicate is alleged to have accessed 10,000 compromised identities and banking details
  • Police conducted a compliance operation at a taxi marshalling area and confiscated 12 e-tags believed to be part of the scheme

In the wake of the fraudulent e-tag scheme investigation, three men have been charged, and a significant number of e-tags have been seized. Law enforcement agencies continue their efforts to dismantle the criminal network and bring justice to the victims. The collaboration between various transport agencies and the Financial Crimes Squad showcases the commitment to keeping the public safe. However, the fight against fraud is an ongoing battle, and anyone with additional information is encouraged to come forward.

John Powell

John Powell is a general journalist with a strong focus on national politics. He pursued his studies at the University of Melbourne, where he honed his journalistic skills. With a keen interest in the political landscape, John has become a notable figure in reporting on national politics. His insightful coverage and analysis have garnered attention and respect from both colleagues and readers. With an eye for detail and a dedication to uncovering the truth, John continues to provide informed and balanced reporting on key political issues, making him a valuable asset in the field of journalism.