Warbirds Seized

Information about Pacific Theatre aircraft currently flying or under restoration.

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Daniel Leahy
Lt Col
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:21 pm
Location: Australia

Warbirds Seized

Post by Daniel Leahy »

Hi All,

Not really related to Pacific aircraft wrecks/relics, but I thought I might share the following in relation to a number of Australian warbirds being seized recently by the AFP.

The following comes from the Australian Federal Police website:
http://www.afp.gov.au/media_releases/na ... automobile
AFP helps seize planes, properties and automobile

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has today helped seize more than $8 million worth of assets formerly controlled by Brisbane businessman Steven Hart, including a number of historic military aircraft.

Orders obtained from the Brisbane District Court this morning resulted in the forfeiture of the assets to the Commonwealth.

The seizures are a result of a joint investigation by the AFP and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which found Mr Hart guilty of nine counts of defrauding the Commonwealth and a Queensland offence of misappropriation in May 2005.

AFP assisted members of the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA) in taking possession of planes, four aircraft hangars, two residential properties and a farm under the statutory forfeiture provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Following the court orders, AFP agents went to Archerfield Airport and assisted ITSA officers in taking possession of four aircraft hangers and 10 planes. A Mercedes Benz was also seized at the airport.

Two homes in Sunnybank, a property in Grandchester and another aircraft located at Cessnock in NSW were also seized.

AFP Brisbane co-ordinator for Economic and Special Operations Greg Harrigan said the planes alone were estimated to be worth more than $3.5 million.

"The AFP is sending a very clear message to anyone who is benefiting from the proceeds of crime that they will be vigorously pursued," Federal Agent Harrigan said.

Commonwealth legislation stipulates that ITSA take control of the properties and possession of the planes and the automobile.

Mr Hart was sentenced to a maximum seven years imprisonment. He has applied to appeal his conviction in the High Court.

"Mr Hart was marketing tax avoidance schemes, creating false taxation deductions and misappropriating monies to the sum of $1.2 million," F/A Harrigan said.
Photos of the seizure are also available on the website:
http://www.afp.gov.au/media/national_me ... automobile

And the following comes from the Minister of Justice's website:
http://www.ag.gov.au/agd/WWW/justicemin ... et_seizure
AFP crackdown on Proceeds of Crime results in $8 million asset seizure
The Federal Government?s Proceeds of Crime Act has again proven its effectiveness with the seizure of over $8 million dollars worth of assets controlled by former Brisbane businessman Steven Hart, Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, said today.

?Under the statutory forfeiture provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA) with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), was able this morning to execute the seizure of the assets,? Senator Ellison said.

Mr Hart was found guilty in May 2005 of nine counts of defrauding the Commonwealth and a Queensland offence of misappropriation in May 2005, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

The seizure includes 11 historic military aircraft including a Hawker Sea Fury and a Dehavalind Tiger Moth, four aircraft hangars, a Mercedes Benz motor vehicle, and a number of residential and rural properties.

The hangars, and 10 of the aircraft, were seized at Archerfield Airport, with two residences seized at Sunnybank, along with a rural property in Grandchester, and another aircraft located at Cessnock in NSW.

?The execution of the seizure by ITSA, following the joint investigation by the AFP and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), demonstrates the strong co-operative relationships between Federal agencies and departments,? Senator Ellison said.

"Today?s outcome once again reinforces the fact that those benefiting from the proceeds of crime will always be aggressively pursued by the Federal Government ? and that they will pay.?

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 gives courts the power to restrain and confiscate the assets of persons who have engaged in serious criminal activity, or whose property is the proceeds of a criminal offence. It also allows the Minister for Justice and Customs to approve the use of these funds for crime prevention, law enforcement, drug treatment and drug diversion programs.

?This Act, which I introduced, is increasingly proving itself to be a powerful weapon in the fight against serious crime,? Senator Ellison said.
The individual aircraft listed on the AFP website are:

North American T-28 Trojan (VH-AVC)
Decathlon Champ (VH-DEC)
Hawker Sea Fury (VH-SHF)
Akrotech (VH-SHI)
North American Harvard (VH-USN)
Aerovod L-39 (VH-SIC)
DeHavilland Tiger Moth (VH-WEM)
Yakolev Yak-50 (VH-YAX)
Yakolev Yak-3M (VH-YZK)
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia


1st Lieutenant
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:30 pm

Post by Mr.Chris »

I've heard that he didn't even defraud the gov't so much; that the offence was quite minor. Does the punishment fit the crime? How often does the gov't defraud the people? For example, porkbarrel spending. Maybe the AUstralian people should hold their own gov't accountabel by protesting gov't waste and abuse.

Dave G
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:47 pm

Naughty man

Post by Dave G »

'Without prejudice'

I don't believe this Fed charge and conviction bit......yet it is exactly as expected.....the Feds DON'T like competition. And yet THEY taught us, both the serious and not so serious, by observible example. As Mr. Chris hints it's about bl**dy time Ozzies put their beer can down and made the Feds do their duty...namely work for us the citizens and taxpayers of this wonderful (?) country.........Or are THEY taking their pay under false pretences. Hmmm.......false protences....?????

Colin C Tigwell
2nd Lieutenant
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2003 3:16 pm
Location: Snug Tasmania

Post by Colin C Tigwell »

I suspect that it could be some time if at all, that these birds will be sold.


Col Tigwell
Vietnam Vet and proud of it.

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