Australia: Mauritian national arrested over Rs 5,7 billion white collar scandal

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Australian Federal Police have arrested another key player in the alleged $165 million (Rs 5,7 billion) fraud syndicate involving the son of an Australian Taxation Office boss.

Simon Anquetil leaves a police station after posting bail.

Simon Anquetil, from Mauritius, was arrested as he touched down at Sydney Airport from a European holiday on Thursday.

The 33 year-old manager and former sole director of the payroll company Plutus Payroll, which is at the centre of an alleged $165 million tax fraud, is the tenth person to be charged over one of Australia’s biggest white-collar crimes.

The alleged fraudster is shielded by his mother and family.

He faced Central Local Court today, charged with conspiracy to defraud, the same charge as Adam Cranston, the son of Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston.

Mr Anquetil, who lives in the harbourside suburb of Lavender Bay, was granted bail on a surety of $100,000 (Rs 3,5 million).

Authorities say the alleged fraud is one of the nation’s largest corporate crimes “in terms of the number of conspirators and the amount of money involved”.

Simon Anquetil in Surry Hills today.

Michael Cranston, 58, has been issued with a court attendance notice for allegedly abusing his position as a senior public official by passing on information to his son.

He is due to face Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 13 and faces up to five years in jail if found guilty.

Adam Cranston, 30, was granted bail on Thursday after his wife and grandmother put up a $300,000 (Rs 10,5 million) surety. He was required to surrender his passport and will have to attend Bondi police station twice a week.

Facebook post by Erin Holland, former Miss World 2013, with Simon Anquetil posted in May 2015.

The others charged include Cranston’s sister, Lauren Anne Cranston, Dev Menon, Devyn Michelle Hammond, Daniel Rostankovski, Jason Cornell Onley, Christopher James Guillan, Aaron Leo Paul and Daniel Simon Hausman.

Anquetil and Adam Cranston are due to reappear at Downing Centre Local Court on August 29.