WA Police have charged two people as the authorities continue to investigate into Fremantle Ports.
The investigation began after WA Police received reports from Fremantle Ports into activity on one of its employees. An investigation commenced and authorities will be alleged evidence regarding to corrupt business practices between 2014 and 2020 was identified.
Police alleged that an employee of Fremantle Ports started several ‘shelf companies’ both in Australia and overseas, using them to manipulate good and services procurement with local businesses directing monies to his own benefit.
Authorities are exploring alleged corrupt business practice involving with contracts estimated to be worth several million dollars. Police say the full extent of the financial benefits are still being assessed, but so far more $1 million has been identified as being transferred to bank accounts controlled by the shelf companies.
An arrest warrant has been successfully applied to the Perth’s Magistrate Court for the 54 year old Fremantle Ports employee Giacomo (Jack) MEROLLA and his 54-year-old wife Daniela MEROLLA for the alleged offences.
Police further alleged that Mr and Mrs Merolla left Australia early this year in an attempt to dispose Australian-based assets since then. Inquiries will continue in the full extend of the alleged offending.
More than $70,000 were seized by the Financial Crime Squad during the at the residences and a storage facility after executing search warrants.
Two people related to Giacomo and Daniela MEROLLA have been arrested and charged. A 23-year-old man from Woodvale has been charged with seven counts of ‘Property Laundering’ and a 28-year-old woman from Wattle Grove has been charged with two counts of ‘Property Laundering’.
Both are due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today, Tuesday 30 June 2020.