A Melbourne man has been arrested for fleecing Chinese wool buyers after he allegedly swapped high-quality wool bales with lower quality ones before shipping them out.
A 47-year-old man from Bacchus Marsh was arrested on Tuesday and is expected to be charged with theft and deception-related offences.
A property in Laverton North was also searched, with wool samples and documents seized.
The swaps occurred between May and June, with buyers in China discovering the thefts once the low-quality bales arrived months later, Victoria Police said in October.
According to Detective Inspector Jamie Templeton, police were committed to catching the perpetrator because they did not want the Australian wool industry’s reputation to be damaged.
‘‘We know that these kinds of incidents can have serious ramifications for the farming community with impacts on productivity, income and livelihoods.
‘‘We want to reassure the farming community that all incidents are being investigated to the full extent.’’
China imports about 75 per cent of Australia’s wool, making it a lifeblood for growers.