Ice-cream machines labelled “scientific equipment” were shipped off to Thailand by a Hells Angels bikie as part of an elaborate investment scam, police allege.
Vadim Victor Volkov, a 37-year-old alleged patched member of the Hells Angels, was charged with money laundering on Monday while an arrest warrant has been issued for his 62-year-old alleged accomplice.
Detectives, who have spent eight months investigating the pair, say they are responsible for a complex scam where they passed themselves off as Russian scientists to land investments.
They will allege the two men claimed to be owners of a graphene battery technology, GraphenEra, and in May 2016 “dishonestly advertised investment opportunities to an ASX-listed company based in Brisbane”.
The Brisbane company, LWP Technologies, subsequently entered into a failed joint venture with the men, paid $566,450 and issued 30 million shares to finance production of graphene batteries.
Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes said police believed the money was not invested as promised and was used for the pair’s “personal benefit”.
“In September 2016, the former board of the investor company terminated the joint venture; however, their attempts to have their capital returned were ignored by the offenders, resulting in financial loss to shareholders, including those who bought shares following public announcements of the joint venture,” he said.
Mr Volkov shipped ice-cream machines labelled as scientific laboratory equipment to a facility in Thailand, where the batteries were to be produced, though none were, he alleged.
The pair are accused of faking scientific qualifications to former board members and pretending to have “relationships with Russia-based scientists and Australia-based scientific institutions”.
Detective Byrnes said the investigation confirmed that despite knowing that the graphene technology could not be produced, the men continued marketing it in order to secure investments.
“This highlights that it is important to stay in control of your investment transactions and seek a second opinion prior to committing to an investment.”
Mr Volkov has been arrested and charged with one money laundering offence and two fraud offences (dishonestly cause detriment and dishonestly induce delivery of $60,050) and was expected to appear in Southport Magistrate on October 3.
An arrest warrant is in the process of being issued for the 62-year-old for the same charges.
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Source: Brisbane Times