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Man 'tried to remove documents'

CHARGES could be laid against a man who was allegedly caught trying to remove a bag of documents during a dramatic police raid on the Sydney office of the Health Services Union on Wednesday.

New South Wales Police seized computers and documents during the raid as part of an eight-month-long investigation into allegations of fraud within the union's East Branch.Fraud and cyber crime squad Commander Colin Dyson said efforts were made to "interfere with information relevant to our investigation" and that criminal charges could arise from those efforts.

"The investigation is on-going, however the execution of a warrant this morning marks one of the final steps," he said.

"A number of people remain to be interviewed as witnesses

"However the documentation we recovered this morning needs to be analysed, particularly forensic accounting analysis, and that may take some time."

Cmdr Dyson confirmed a man was intercepted in a carpark outside the offices with a bag of documents, but refused to go into any more detail.

He said an investigation by Strike Force Carnarvon was looking into the operations of the HSU "back to a period of time around the mid-1990s".

An interim report by Ian Temby QC, who has also been investigating the union's East Branch, was leaked to media this week.

It revealed Mr Temby was investigating allegations of fraud and misuse of union members' funds, as well as questionable tender and financial practices.

HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, who has long been agitating for the union's finances to be investigated, was outside the offices during Wednesday's raid.

She said she had "full faith" in the police to investigate the allegations.

Ms Jackson said a move by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to suspend Labor MP Craig Thomson, a former HSU national secretary, had come too late.

"Perfect timing would have been if she acted eight months ago - the timing now is acting too late," she said.

"I think a lot of members would be within their rights to have lost confidence in us."

Topics:  craig thomson hsu police



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