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Four people have been arrested over a fraud identity racket based in Sydney that allegedly created thousands of fake IDs and Medicare and credit cards.
Federal and NSW police joined forces with the Immigration Department after Customs officers found 5,000 driver licence holograms hidden in a package from China.
Police said at least one of the accused had used a fake ID to board a domestic flight, while the credit cards had been used to commit fraud against several financial institutions in Sydney.
Customs regional commander Tim Fitzgerald said intelligence analysts identified the air cargo as high-risk.
"The package was subsequently examined by officers and 5,000 holograms were identified, these holograms held images of the NSW emblem and coat of arms," he said.
Early yesterday morning, police searched homes in Canley Vale and Lakemba in Sydney's south-west and Rockdale in the city's south.
Three men and a woman were arrested.
Officers said they found about 100 mobile phones, computers, card templates, pay slips, bank statements, Medicare cards, cash, false identity documents and holograms for licenses.
They can get false credit cards in your name, false loans in your name, access to your mortgage, they can even get access to your super if they want to.Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis
The head of the fraud squad in NSW, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, said police would allege the racket was a "highly sophisticated operation into the high level manufacturing of fake identification cards and other documentation".
"You can see the sophistication of this particular syndicate by the equipment we have seized; the printing machines, computers full of data that they were using to produce the fake IDs and apply for fake applications for banks, credit cards and the like," he said.
Two men, Indian nationals aged 25 and 41, have been charged with conspiracy to cheat and defraud and possessing equipment to make false documents.
The pair have been remanded in custody to face Burwood Local Court today.
A 40-year-old woman from Vietnam and a 57-year-old man from Canley Vale have been granted conditional bail to face court next month.
Police said a fifth person, a 50-year-old man, was detained at the Lakemba address and handed over to immigration officers "due to him being an unlawful non-citizen".
Afraid Wasn Cover People Up com 't Lady Saoirse Bird Ronan In Acne To It is alleged at least one of the accused used a fake ID to board a domestic flight, but police say they did not have any reason to believe the group was involved in anything other than defrauding banks.
"We don't know if we'll be making more arrests," said Superintendent Katsogiannis.
"At the moment our enquiries are continuing with agencies here and overseas so we're keeping an open mind about that."
The names on the credit cards and Medicare cards manufactured by the syndicate were a combination of real and fake identities.
Superintendent Dametto said so far, police have not been able to contact all the people whose details were stolen.
Police said that all criminals need is a person's name, address and birthdate to steal an identity.
Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis added that the offence of dealing with identification information carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.