Three charged for selling fraudulent e-tags to taxis

Three men have been arrested after being accused of running an e-tag scam worth more than $2.2 million.

The men, charged with a combined 271 fraud-related offenses, are accused of circulating 800 fake tags across five years, most of which were sold to taxi drivers.

Police arrested the men in the Sydney suburbs of Smithfield, Blacktown and Punchbowl on Tuesday morning.

Financial Crimes Squad detectives began investigating the purported e-tag ring in January after allegations they were selling road-tolling devices linked to false payment methods, including shonky credit cards sourced on the dark web.

The syndicate bought around 10,000 compromised identities and banking details that were linked to the tags, paying around $150,000 for the information, police allege.

Searches at the properties led to the seizure of 74 e-tags, $25,000 in cash and a 2019 Mercedes AMG, along with toll notices and electronic devices.

Police say a shipment of fraudulent e-tags arrived at the Granville property during their search.

A 37-year-old man was arrested in Smithfield and charged with 204 fraud-related offenses, as well as dealing with the proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.

A 38-year-old man was arrested in Blacktown and charged with 32 fraud offences, accessory before the fact of dealing with the proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.

A 28-year-old man was arrested in Punchbowl and charged with 35 fraud offenses, as well as participating in a criminal group.

All three men were refused bail and two are due to face court on Wednesday, while the third appeared in court on Tuesday.

Police say the fraudulent e-tags were mostly sold to taxi drivers. (HANDOUT/NSW POLICE)

Financial Crimes Squad commander Gordon Arbinja said police were holding the alleged syndicate accountable.

“(They) are not only profiting from this scheme but exploiting innocent people’s identities and credit card details to fund their fraud,” he said.

Following the arrests, police ran an operation at the taxi marshalling area of ​​Sydney Airport on Tuesday.

Officers spoke to 200 taxi drivers and confiscated 12 e-tags believed to be part of the fraudulent scheme as part of the probe.