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Project Dragon: How China is recruiting retired Australian police officers to recoup cash

Project Dragon: How China is recruiting retired Australian police officers to recoup cash illegally siphoned to Australia before sending it back to Beijing

  • China recruiting retired police officers in Australia to recoup alleged dirty funds 
  • Officials from China have hired a company in Hong Kong to lead the operation  
  • Project Dragon is trying to recover what China claims is billions in funds   

China is recruiting retired police detectives to help recover cash illegally siphoned off to Australia and other western countries before being transferred back to Beijing.

A third party company based in Hong Kong has been hired by the Chinese government tasked with recovering what they claim is billions in funds in an effort known as Project Dragon.

Some of the private operatives said they suspect dirty money is being laundered through Australia, in particular properties on the Gold Coast, during and interview by Four Corners.

China is recruiting retired police detectives to help recover cash illegally siphoned off to Australia and other western countries before being transferred back to Beijing 

The team has identified $80 million worth of property on the Gold Coast they suspect has been bought by Chinese nationals in an effort to launder cash 

The team has identified $80 million worth of property on the Gold Coast they suspect has been bought by Chinese nationals in an effort to launder cash 

These operatives have been recruited by the Hong Kong company and include Austin Whittaker – an ex-NSW Police investigator, intelligence analyst and Australian Army commando.

He says the team has identified $80 million worth of property on the Gold Coast they suspect has been bought by Chinese nationals in an effort to launder cash.

‘There’s what we’re referring to as a cluster of properties at Sovereign Island. Most of them, or all of them waterfront, luxuriously appointed, all vacant,’ Mr Whittaker told Four Corners.

His colleague, former New Zealand detective turned private investigator, Jason McFetridge, says their strategy to recoup the funds is to approach the owners, explain they are working for the Chinese government, and see if they are willing to hand over ownership.

‘We can sell it, recuperate the losses and return the money back to China. Everyone’s happy,’ Mr McFetridge said.

Their first case did not go smoothly, with the owners of the property challenging Mr McFetridge in the Supreme Court, saying he used deceptive conduct and fraud to get control of their company, which owned the property.

The court restrained Mr McFetridge from selling the property, but, despite the legal defeat, he says they have been instructed to continue with their job.

Mr Whittaker has stressed that they are not working for the Chinese government but rather the third party company who have simply hired them as consultants for their local expertise.

‘The agenda simply is to help stop the cash flow washing out of their economy,’ he said. 

Former New Zealand detective turned private investigator, Jason McFetridge, (pictured) says their strategy to recoup the funds is to approach the owners, explain they are working for the Chinese government, and see if they are willing to hand over ownership 

Former New Zealand detective turned private investigator, Jason McFetridge, (pictured) says their strategy to recoup the funds is to approach the owners, explain they are working for the Chinese government, and see if they are willing to hand over ownership 

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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