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Chilean jewellery gang members caught on CCTV. Image courtesy: NSW Police
Chilean jewellery gang members caught on CCTV. Image courtesy: NSW Police

Chilean jewellery gang members charged, extradited

Arrested members of a South American crime syndicate are facing multiple criminal charges after allegedly stealing more than $1 million in jewellery and other luxury items throughout Australia.

Police filed more than 65 criminal charges against eight alleged gang members believed to be responsible for a series of burglaries in shopping centres and homes throughout Melbourne and Sydney over several months.

It is alleged the international organised crime gang stole an estimated $1.2 million worth of luxury goods, designer clothing and sporting gear before sending them back to Chile, or converting the items into cash to be transferred into overseas bank accounts.

One of the suspects, Anastassia Saavedra Urzua, 19, was arrested in Melbourne and has been extradited to face court in Sydney, while two other members – Guiovanni Saladrigas Garcia, 22, and Diana Veloso Hernandez, 36 – remain in police custody.

Garcia has been charged with 19 counts of aggravated break, enter and steal charges, while Hernandez has been charged with 19 counts.

Two other male members who have been charged in Melbourne were also extradited to Sydney in late December.

The reamainder of the arrested syndicate members, with ages ranging from 22 to 28, have also been charged with similar multiple offences before the Central and Burwood Local Courts.

Australian authorities believed more syndicate members remained at-large, including a possible ringleader based in Sydney, noting that the crimes were well-planned.

Detective superintendent Daniel Doherty told the Sydney Morning Herald, "They had lookouts, they had stories ready to go about why they were in the area. It is a very coordinated criminal group.”

"The criminal group were very sophisticated and very well planned and coordinated. The items were mainly cash, jewellery, gold and luxury items— so easy to transport and ship back overseas," Doherty added.

Police were alerted last year to the syndicate by Canadian authorities for a string of similar offences in Canada, US, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.

Jewellery and watches attained by NSW Police. Image courtesy: The Sydney Morning Herald
Jewellery and watches attained by NSW Police. Image courtesy: The Sydney Morning Herald











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Tuesday, 18 June, 2019 09:54pm
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