World

Tax official's son, friends arrested

SYDNEY: One of Australia's top anti-fraud tax officials faces charges after his son and eight friends were arrested in raids that netted cash, luxury cars, two small planes, guns and vintage wine in a A$165 million (S$170 million) tax fraud, police said yesterday.

Police said Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston was an unwitting participant in fraud after he accessed tax office systems at the request of his son, Adam.

Mr Cranston has not yet been charged, but has been summoned to attend court.

Police allege that Adam Cranston, 30, and his eight friends diverted funds from legitimate payroll-processing companies, which were earmarked for tax liabilities, to numerous subsidiaries.

They were arrested on Wednesday and charged with offences including fraud and money laundering. More than 100 bank and shared trading accounts were frozen. - REUTERS

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