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Australia Arrest warrants issued for Fremantle Ports worker and wife over alleged corruption worth millions of dollars

08:45  30 june  2020
08:45  30 june  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a couple of people posing for the camera: Giacomo and Daniela Merolla have warrants out for their arrest. (Source: Facebook) © Provided by ABC NEWS Giacomo and Daniela Merolla have warrants out for their arrest. (Source: Facebook)

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Fremantle Ports employee Giacomo (Jack) Merolla and his wife Daniela Merolla over alleged corruption at the port.

Police believe the pair, both aged 54, left Australia earlier this year and have attempted to dispose of Australian-based assets since that time.

WA Police said an investigation commenced after Fremantle Ports reported concerns about the activity of one of its employees.

Police said the investigation identified evidence of corrupt business practices between 2014 and 2020, and allege a ports employee created several shelf companies in Australia and overseas.

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According to a statement issued by police, the companies were used to "fraudulently manipulate the procurement of goods and services with local businesses directing monies to his own benefit".

"Police are exploring alleged corrupt business activity involving contracts estimated to be worth several million dollars," the statement said.

"The full extent of the financial benefit gained by those involved in the fraudulent activity is still being assessed, however to date more than $1 million has been identified as being transferred to bank accounts controlled by the shelf companies.

"Inquiries continue into the full extent of the alleged offending."

WA Police say they have seized $70,000 after executing search warrants on residences and a storage facility.

Meanwhile, police have arrested and charged two people related to Mr and Mrs Merolla with two counts and seven counts of property laundering respectively.

The man and woman appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court today and were granted bail until August 11.

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