This “scam” has been going on for more than 25 years and it’s only made the front pages of our Main Stream Media in 2018 amazing? Chilean Dickensian like gangs have spread across the globe like locusts coming here and to any other jurisdictions exploiting weak laws for years knowing the police do little or nothing about their crimes because the victims were generally considered to be insured. In the 90s and 00s these targeted the jewellery industry and in particular wholesalers both here and overseas. They did it seasonally and got away with millions each week for months each year. Everyone selling gold,diamonds or assorted precious stone goods were at risk. These Latin predators knew who they were what they were carrying and how to part them and their bags.
Wholesalers would be asked directions by seemingly tourists on street corners with maps already out blinding their unsuspecting target from their goods often with their bags at their feet ready to point out directions. By the time they noticed their bags were long gone handed to 2-3 people in a chain of passers by. Car tyres were punctured needed changing with valuable put in the back seats. Meanwhile the thieves would even come up and offer to help in order to distract the unsuspecting target while their friends came in the blind side of the car and collected the booty. It always only took a matter of minutes
Bag snatching has always been a petty crime in Australia unless of course your an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander then in certain states you were jailed for taking a Mars bar. The value of the contents of the bag wasn’t taken into account by the judge. If one of these Chilean bastards were caught they’d be slapped with a fine for a first offence and let walk to fly off to another country to continue their activities. Sanchez was a common name on false passports back then and our airports were just a revolving door to these Fagen trained and organized locusts.
However, their level of organized crime wouldn’t have been a success without the help of locals in the jewellery industry itself. Fences, buyers,police all the local usual suspects were well known to each other. Stolen were shipped across our borders within hours and that’s where the state police stopped. Retailers even some leaders in the industry itself were ready to recycle goods and deeds done dirt cheap because our lax second hand licencing laws protected them. The exchanges were fast because transactions were done for as little as 20% of the value of the merchandise. $300,000 offered for as little as $60,000 wasn’t uncommon. Runners were selling the illgotten gains up and down the east coast of Australia. The Chileans well they were making hay while the sun shined knowing that if they got caught for bag-snatching they’d be slapped on the wrist and let go to fly out and come back next year or some other time with a new passport to continue the circus. All in all very few people were caught and the media paid little or no attention to what has been going on for years.
How do I know because it happened to us in Sydney back in the 90s, in the Queen Vic Building while in the same week another Melbourne wholesaler had his bag lifted from his car as well. Within days we got calls from our clients asking why X was offering our goods for half price? The merchandise had gone from Sydney to Surfers and on to Adelaide and was being distributed. We even knew the names of the Australians the resellers involved and could do nothing. The police response in Sydney was “your insured aren’t you?” and in Adelaide,” we know but they are now secondhand goods bought legitimately how do we know they are yours can you prove it ? “ Unfortunately even when we were believed by the police the law seemed to protect those involved more than it did us and the sounds of ” make an insurance claim ” echoed in our ears. Also “easy come easy go” was heard as if that was the normal risk in the industry. Well as for the first comment we weren’t insured and as for the second our laws were seen as easy by these Chileans who wouldn’t do at home what they do elsewhere and still are weak it seems as 30 years has passed and nothing has really changed.(ODT)