The Australian Federal Police (AFP), in conjunction with NSW Police, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, has shut down the largest known carding operation in Australian history, and arrested those behind the operation.
The case has been worked on for more than a year, with the different agencies assembling an Identity Security Strike Team to investigate identity fraud and carding operations, beginning in April 2011. Its investigation focused on dismantling a Sydney-based identity fraud syndicate that was responsible for manufacturing credit cards, which the AFP has said could have potentially netted around AU$37.5 million.
The syndicate has been dealt another blow today, with the AFP and NSW Police arresting a Chinese couple — a 48-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman — at a home at Ryde, in Sydney's northwest, at about 6 a.m. AEST.
"Certainly, the entire syndicate has been disrupted at this stage," AFP detective superintendent Darren Dooy told reporters, adding that all of the main members of the syndicate have now been arrested.
Authorities allege that the syndicate was using illegally obtained equipment to manufacture fraudulent credit cards. Populating the blank cards was achieved by using information obtained over the internet, and through illegal card-skimming devices.
Among the total 15,000 credit cards, 12,000 were seized in the strike team's November 2011 seizure, which makes it the largest carding operation to have been shut down in Australia at the time.
The man and woman have been granted bail, and are scheduled to appear in Hornsby Local Court on October 25.
The strike team only recently conducted a successful sting earlier in July, raiding two properties also located in Ryde, and seizing over 2,000 cards with a potential value of AU$5 million.