Bank directed price-fixing cartel to set rates on currency transfers, police claim


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He said the alleged conduct accounted for more than two thirds of all the money transfer transactions and almost a quarter of the total amount of money transferred from Australia to Vietnam during the period.

Remittance from Australia to Vietnam in that period are estimated to have totalled about $700 million per annum , according to the World Bank.

The company, Vina Money Transfer, is facing seven charges relating to making and giving effect to contracts, arrangements or understandings that contain a cartel provision in relation to exchange rates and fees for money transfer to Vietnam.

On Thursday, one man from NSW, Van Ngoc Le, 58, faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with six offences of being knowingly concerned with some or all of Vina Money Transfer’s alleged conduct as a former secretary and director of the business.

Jamie Le, 30, from NSW and Queensland man, Tony Le, 32, both faced one similar charge each owing to their work with Vina Money Transfer as secretary and director, and former secretary and director respectively.

All three were released on bail.

Van Khai Tran, 63, from Victoria, was charged with two similar offences for alleged conduct relating to the Hong Vina Fast Money transfer business as a former secretary and director, while Thi Nguyen, 58, was also charged with six alleged offences following the ACCC-AFP probe. Ms Nguyen is a former Hong Vina shareholder.

All will reappear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

The third money exchange business involved in the alleged price-fixing is Hai Ha Money Transfer. Police allege all three companies were approached by Sacombank to match exchange rates. Each company made its payments in Vietnam via Sacombank.



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