Australian Crime Commission chief executive officer Chris Dawson would not name the groups linked to money laundering.Organised criminals are using terrorist groups to launder money, the Australian Crime Commission has revealed.
ACC chief executive officer Chris Dawson would not name the groups linked to money laundering, but said the threat was part of a growing trend towards more sophisticated methods of “cleaning” cash earned through organised crime.
This includes organised crime groups, particularly those involved in drug trafficking, approaching specific money laundering operations, as opposed to dealing with the profits themselves.
These professional laundering outfits then use various means, including casino gambling and currency trading, to “legitimise” cash.
The ACC organised crime in Australia 2015 report will be released on Wednesday.
As more details emerge of Australians who travel overseas to join conflicts, the report hints at increasing knowledge of the links between national crime and international jihadi groups.
“The problem of Australians going abroad to fight is an emerging area of complexity for this country.
“As counter-terrorism efforts throughout Australia are enhanced, the linkages between terrorism and the broader organised crime and volume crime environments are being identified.
“These linkages include, but are not limited to, Australians who finance terrorist activities, Australians who leave Australia to support terrorist causes, and who may return to Australia with the intent of inflicting harm on the Australian community, or may be recruited by organised crime groups seeking the specialist skill sets they developed in foreign conflicts.”
Mr Dawson said Australian and international authorities were working to prosecute those using terrorist groups for money laundering.
“We have established connections between international controllers and terrorist groups.
“There is a definite connection that has been established and that’s subject of quite a lot of operational activity.”
The report forecasts an increase in organised crime groups trying to using legitimate business to establish a facade for their offending.
The ACC outlines an investigation into a syndicate that established companies in the mining and resources sector and used coercion to take control of existing companies.
Once the syndicate controlled significant shareholdings, they started aggressive capital-raising and marketing campaigns.
The syndicate employed geologists and company research firms to inflate the potential of their projects and release “buy” recommendations to investors.
As the share price inflated, a global network of brokers was employed to sell syndicate members’ shareholdings.
Mr Dawson said investigations into the scam were ongoing and involved all sectors, not just the mining industry.
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the spread of technology had broadened the scope of organised crime groups.
“They are violent predators who profit from the misery of drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, the illicit firearms trade, and are even suspected of financing terrorism.
“Sophisticated criminal syndicates both here and abroad have quickly embraced technology – ripping off Australians with online scams, identity fraud, credit card fraud and the exchange of illicit items such as firearms and drugs on the darknet.”
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