Money scheme warning
Cabramatta police have warned about the dangers of investing money in Hui schemes, also known as Tontine, Hawala or Fei Chein schemes. It is a form of underground banking commonly practised in Asian communities. It involves a group of people contributing money to the scheme and then taking turns at utilising the consolidated funds, generally via a lottery system. The schemes are usually operated between friends and family with no formal structure. While Hui schemes are not illegal, Cabramatta Superintendent Wayne Murray said investigating theft incidents in such schemes was difficult for police because of the lack of proper account keeping and the absence of records. He said 40 people from Cabramatta had already become a victim to this. Those who have lost money in Hui and similar schemes should contact Cabramatta Police on 9725 8999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. For information about scams: moneysmart.gov.au or scamwatch.gov.au.
Home invasion assault
Police are appealing for information after a 45-year-old man was hospitalised following a home invasion in Smithfield at 2.45pm on January 3. The man answered a knock at the door of his house on Theresa Street and was allegedly confronted by a man who started punching him. Two other men appeared and also assaulted him. He was struck on the body with a spirit level and stabbed in the arm with a chisel. Both items belonged to the 45-year-old. The attackers fled without taking any items. The victim was taken to Fairfield Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The first man is of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean appearance, 170 to 175 centimetres tall, medium build with black hair. The second man is of Caucasian appearance, 180 to 185 centimetres tall with a large build and wearing brown shorts and a blue shirt. The third man is of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean appearance, 170 to 175 centimetres tall and wearing a black T-shirt.