Detectives have arrested three Irish nationals as they tried to flee Australia and charged them over an alleged roof scam targeting elderly Sydney homeowners.
A 20-year-old Irish national set to fly to the United Kingdom was arrested by federal police at Sydney Airport on March 7, NSW Police said today.
Cash and jewellery were discovered in the man's luggage and he was charged with aggravated break-and-enter.
Investigators determined a scam was underway at a home in Bexley, in Sydney's south, and contacted the 72-year-old male homeowner.
Officers then arrested a second Irish man, aged 22, at Sydney Airport on Saturday night as he tried to board a flight to Qatar. Again, cash and jewellery were found in his luggage.
He was charged with fraud and dealing in the proceeds of crime.
Detectives arrested a third Irish national, aged 20, at Melbourne airport on Monday as he tried to board a flight to China.
He was extradited to NSW and charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Police are now hunting for a fourth alleged offender.
NSW Police previously said they were searching for a group of men believed to be behind a series of roof repair scams in Sydney's west.
In late 2018 it was revealed a 90-year-old woman had been approached by a group of men who offered to fix her Burwood home's roof for NZ$174,500.
She paid them but when they came back and asked for a further NZ$227,000 to be transferred, her bank notified police.
Scammers also told two Milperra residents in December they were tilers and could repair their roof.
The residents paid the four men part of the money but became suspicious and asked to cancel the job.
The dodgy roofers refused to give back the money and left. But one of the residents noticed the remainder of the money had been taken from her wallet.
All four men spoke with Irish or English accents, NSW Police said at the time.