Two Australian citizens and a Chinese man have been remanded in custody after facing court today over a major cash seizure in the WA Goldfields.
The trio were allegedly found in possession of around $2 million cash, which police claim is the proceeds of crime.
The money was seized by police around midday on Tuesday near the historic mining town of Coolgardie.
Police say the people were in a four-wheel-drive vehicle driving from Perth to the eastern States, although they would not confirm the exact destination.
Accused speak through translator in court
The Kalgoorlie Courthouse, where the trio faced the charges for the first time today. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Sam Tomlin)
A Cantonese translator was required in the Kalgoorlie Magistrate’s Court today for 33-year-old Wing Leung Law.
His co-accused, 24-year-old Australian woman Wanting Xu and 21-year-old man Shing Hung Ho, appeared separately and both spoke English.
They are all charged with one count of possessing money which is believed to be the proceeds of an offence.
No pleas were entered and there was no applications for bail.
Magistrate Sandra De Maio said the amount of money involved meant it would be in the interests of justice that the case is transferred to Perth.
The trio are due to reappear in the Perth Magistrate’s Court on January 3.
Legal aid lawyer Jay Townsend appeared on their behalf and asked for an interpreter to appear at their next court date.
The Perth-based Proceeds of Crime Squad are handling the case, which has sparked an investigation by WA Police’s Meth Money Team.
The money was allegedly found in the rear of the car and the money has been transferred to Perth for formal counting, although the amount is estimated to be about $2 million.
Second high-profile cash seizure this year
It is the second high-profile cash seizure by police in the WA Goldfields this year.
In an unrelated matter in June, detectives found more than $1.3 million cash in a suitcase on the Indian Pacific train when it pulled into Kalgoorlie Railway Station.
Two Malaysian women, aged 33 and 34, were charged with possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property.
The Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court heard they were transporting the suitcase full of cash from Perth to Sydney.
In another case in October last year, police charged two Vietnamese nationals suspected of being part of a major drug syndicate.
Police alleged in The Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court that a 36-year-old man and 32-year-old man rented a car from Perth Airport and intended to drive across the country to Sydney Airport with $378,000 cash in the boot.
The cash was seized during a traffic stop near the Goldfields town of Widgiemooltha.