Three men with links to Australia Post arrested over fraudulent transactions with international students

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IN PHOTO: A member of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) forensic unit inspects a garage at a house that was involved in pre-dawn raids in the western Sydney suburb of Guilford September 18, 2014. More than 800 police were involved in the pre-dawn raids, described as the largest in Australian history, with at least 15 people detained. Australian police will allege that members of a group targeted in the sweeping counter-terrorism operation on Thursday planned to behead a random member of the public after draping the victim in the flag of Islamic State militants, Australia media reported. Without referring to specifics, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia was at "serious risk from a terrorist attack". REUTERS/David Gray

Three men have been arrested over alleged fraudulent transactions with international students through the fake private training colleges they supposedly ran. The trio also supplied Australia Post with delivery drivers. The Australian Federal Police and Border Force had raided their homes and Australia Post offices in Melbourne.

The three men, Mukesh Sharma, Baljit ‘Bobby’ Singh and Rakesh Kumar, are said to have run two training institutes that sourced student visas. They reportedly charged up to $10,000 in fees from the international students but did not provide any kind of training for them. The website of the colleges also had no information on the class time tables or term dates. The trio also allegedly collected government subsidies, 9news reported.

The Symbiosis Institute of Technical Education in Footscray was run by Mukesh Sharma, while Bobby Singh and Rakesh Kumar jointly managed the St. Stephen Institute in Melbourne. The AFP arrested Singh from his mansion in Balwyn and the the other two men were arrested in separate raids. Police have also seized Singh’s Ferrari.

Joan Doyle, Victorian secretary of the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union, said that the incidents raised doubts on the hiring policies of the Australia Post.

"We reported (Mr Singh) to Australia Post in 2012 for underpaying his workers but nothing happened. In fact, what seems to happen was he was being preferenced above other contractors," she said.

ABC  reported that Doyle said she believed that the company had about 100 workers working under it for Australia Post. Many of these workers are students working full time as part of the conditions for their student visa. The AFP and the Border Force also conducted raids at a number of Australia Post facilities, which could be where the company’s worker are based.

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