A Sydney man who claimed to work for a Registered Training Organisation has been charged with allegedly selling fraudulent health and safety accreditation cards to workers.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the NSW Police alleged the man charged a fee to fraudulently obtain the ‘white cards’ for the unqualified construction workers.
The Identity Security Strike Team (ISST) is a multi-jurisdictional initiative between the AFP and the NSW Police.
Last year in July, the ISST received information relating to the fraudulent supply of white cards to the workers and commenced investigations under “Operation Drax”.
After a the investigation, ISST officers arrested the man at Kellyville this week. The 37-year-old was taken to Castle Hill Police Station and charged with four counts of fraud.
Police will allege in court the man completed online white card training falsely claiming to be someone else. He then provided General Construction Induction Cards to the people for a fee.
The Fraud squad commander, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogianis, said the man sold at least 400 cards.
The man was granted bail and is due to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday 2 November 2016.
Following the arrest, ISST investigators executed search warrants at a home in Kellyville and an office at Eastwood. The fficers located and seized computers, mobile phones, ‘white cards’, cash and documents relating to training/courses/qualifications for the construction industry.
Katsogiannis said the ISST is dedicated to investigating all facets of identity-related crime.
“The compromise of personal information and the production of false or forged documents is a serious issue and can have dangerous consequences for the community,” Katsogiannis said.
“In this case, the potential of having unqualified workers at a work site is a great concern and puts the safety of other workers, and the community at risk.
“In addition, ISST investigators are working closely with SafeWork NSW and interstate agencies to ensure national work health and safety laws are not compromised.
“I would like to commend ISST investigators for their hard work and perseverance with this complex investigation," Det Supt Katsogianis said.
Further, Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said SafeWork would cooperate with NSW Police on their investigation.
“SafeWork NSW does not tolerate licence fraud and will work with NSW Police, SafeWork Australia, and other regulators to cancel any fraudulently issued cards and take whatever regulatory action is necessary,” Dunphy said.