Photo: Australian Federal Police
Authorities in Australia seized three properties from a Chinese national targeted by Chinese investigators in a joint graft probe with China, local police said during the weekend.
The properties, including a two-bedroom apartment, a five-bedroom house and a building that used to house a supermarket, have a combined value of A$4.2 million ($2.93 million), the Australian Federal Police said in a statement. The assets were owned by a 32-year-old Chinese national under a fake name. The owner is believed to have moved to the Caribbean, the police said.
The seized properties will be sold and proceeds will be used for law enforcement initiatives, the police said.
It is the first asset seizure under a joint law-enforcement agreement between Australian and Chinese public security authorities since the Joint Agency Arrangement on Economic Crime Cooperation was re-signed in December.
The asset confiscation came after China’s Ministry of Public Security asked for assistance from Australia in 2016 to identify two Chinese nationals who allegedly defrauded investors in China. The suspects fled to Australia in 2015 and used the money to purchase properties, jewelry and vehicles, according to police.