by Alan Thornhill
Who would fall for a Nigerian bank scam, these days?
Well, an elderly Australian couple did – and sent $500,000 overseas.
That case was just one of many, described in a new report on the operations of organised crime in Australia.
Another involved an Australian travelling overseas, with a suitcase stuffed with cash, that he he was planning to launder.
John Visser, acting chief executive of the financial intelligence unit Austrac estimates that organised crime now costs Australians no less than $15 billion a year.
Mr Visser also said this “is a huge waste and cost to every Australian.
“And for that reason, we want our agencies working hard to dismantle such syndicates.”
Austrac provides financial data and intelligence to state and federal government agencies.
Another case, mentioned in the report, involved drug sales by a bikie gang.
Mr Visser said a pharmacy linked to that motorcycle drug gang received cash deposits worth $1.1 million in just 15 months.
He was addressing a ceremony in Brisbane, at which the Austrac report was launched.
The Federal Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O’Connor, who also attended the function, said the criminal syndicates involved in organised crime could be stopped.
“What we do know is if we can stop the money flow, we can cripple criminal syndicates,” he said appealing for public help.
“What we know it is sometimes the smallest of information that businesses provide can indeed be used effectively by AUSTRAC, by the Australian Federal Police,” Mr O’Connor said.
“This report, particularly going to the case studies, underlines the need for businesses to report certain conduct by consumers, by indeed their own customers,” he added.
Mr O’Connor warned, too, that organised crime in Australia is becoming “increasingly more sophisticated.”
“And so we have to be much more vigilant,” he said.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Friday December 6
The Dow Jones index fell 68.26 points to 15,821.50
Nelson Mandela dies
ACCC puts a cap on the fuel shopper dockets offered by Coles and Woolworths.
Qantas shares placed in trading halt
|Aud To Usd||0.9103||N/A||N/A|
|Bhp Blt Fpo||36.750||-0.030||-0.08%|
|Macq Group Fpo||51.850||-0.750||-1.43%|
|Bramb Ltd Fpo||9.380||-0.040||-0.42%|
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