6 May 2008

Bail in Australia for Vanuatu-based accountant

3:21 pm on 6 May 2008

A former Sydney accountant charged with running a multi-million dollar international money laundering scheme has been granted bail by a Sydney court.

Vanuatu-based Robert John Agius has been ordered to surrender his passports and must report to police twice a day as a condition of his bail.

He has also been required to provide a security of just on four milllion US dollars.

Mr Agius faces charges of conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth, conspiracy to cause a loss and to laundering a total of around one million dollars.

The Australian Federal Police allege Mr Agius laundered close to 100 million dollars for more than 400 Australian clients by transferring funds from Australia to accounts in Vanuatu and New Zealand.

The money would then allegedly be returned to Australia in the form of a loan and the repayment would be treated as a tax deduction.

The AFP allege Mr Agius evaded millions of dollars in taxes and received over a million dollars in commissions from the operation over the past eight years.