Woman arrested over baby formula syndicate

5 أشخاص اعتقلوا لحد الآن Source: NSW Police

A 22-year-old woman has been arrested at Sydney's Silverwater prison for her alleged involvement in a crime syndicate that stole baby formula to sell overseas.

An eighth person has been charged over the theft of more than $1 million worth of baby formula by an alleged family-run crime syndicate.

Police say the 22-year-old woman was arrested at Sydney's Silverwater prison on Thursday morning for allegedly stealing baby formula from stores across the city before it was sent overseas.

The woman is due to face the Parramatta Local Court later on Friday charged with 10 counts of larceny and participating in a criminal group - contribute to criminal activity.

Seven other people - including four from the same family - were previously arrested since police seized 4000 tins of formula during raids on two northwest Sydney homes in August.

Detectives have charged two women – aged 29 and 48 – and five men – aged 31, 35, 42, 42, and 53. They remain before the courts.

The gang allegedly used a network of thieves who delivered the goods to locations in Carlingford before it was sold overseas.

The syndicate - allegedly headed by a 48-year-old woman - handled more than $1 million of stolen goods in the past year and may have run their empire over a number of years.

"We're thinking this was quite an expansive criminal group that was exploiting an overseas market at the disadvantage of the Australian public," Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty told reporters in January.

"It is quite lucrative. The reasons are quite simple - it's greed and the exploitation of a market overseas for the benefit of a criminal organised group."

A statement from NSW Police says that, in February 2018, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad received information from retailers relating to the coordinated theft of baby formula and vitamins across Sydney.

Strike Force Dungv was subsequently established to investigate the theft and distribution of the items.

In August 2018, strike force investigators searched two homes in Carlingford and seized 4000 tins of baby formula, large quantities of vitamins, and Manuka honey; all of which are alleged to be stolen.

Officers also seized more than $215,000 cash from one of the properties, which is alleged to be the proceeds of crime.

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