Six people, including three real estate agents, are alleged to have used several rental properties in order to cultivate cannabis. They are further accused of having used the names of various unsuspecting renters to claim Covid rental relief payments.
All six accused were arrested on Wednesday. The charges laid vary for each defendant but include participating in a criminal group and cultivating a prohibited plant.
In 2021, between July and August police discovered a number of drug labs within homes located in the area of Fairfield, on the southwest side of Sydney. During the investigation police seized approximately $2 million worth of cannabis.
Since then, investigations have led to the discovery that several of the properties were linked to fraudulent applications under the Covid-19 Residential Tenancy Support Package Scheme.
Detective Inspector Luke Scott said, ‘We will be alleging these people used their position as trusted insiders in the real estate industry to defraud their own clientele and public money meant for those who need it most.’
He further stated, ‘The properties that were allegedly utilised by this syndicate to grow cannabis were subleased to members of the public who had no idea their name was on the lease agreement, as was the case when it came to the fraudulently obtained rental relief and bond payments.’
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