Criminal Asset Confiscation Team - new taskforce to target the ill-gotten wealth of organised crime ‘kingpins’
The NSW Government is targeting the hidden wealth of senior organised crime figures with a new team comprised of NSW Crime Commission and NSW Police Force investigators.
The Criminal Assets Confiscation Team will be comprised of forensic accountants, intelligence analysts and lawyers, who will work with specialist detectives from NSW Police’s Organised Crime Squad.
The team will identify and investigate senior members of organised criminal networks suspected to have profited from organised crime.
The team will conduct simultaneous criminal and financial investigations into these individuals.
Under legislation recently passed by NSW Parliament, onus now lies on the individual to prove to the court that their wealth was gained through legitimate means.
The team will have the powers to freeze assets and confiscate the proceeds of crime.
This work will prevent, disrupt, and reduce serious and organised crime through the targeting of criminally derived unexplained wealth.
An initial investment of more than $2 million will establish the team, with ongoing funding of approximately $4 million per year.
The proceeds of confiscated items will further fund the team’s work.
Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism, Yasmin Catley said:
“We said we’d make every resource available to tackle organised crime on our streets, today’s announcement does just that.
“Senior members of organised crime gangs are on notice. The NSW Police Force and NSW Crime Commission will hunt you down, they will seize your assets and use that money to come after more of you.
“These crime bosses are highly skilled at hiding their wealth and many never face a court. Today’s announcement means we’ll confiscate their criminally acquired wealth anyway.”
NSW Crime Commissioner, Michael Barnes said:
“With this new funding and the support of our law enforcement colleagues, we will seize the wealth that funds the terrible crimes we have been seeing in Sydney over the last two years.
“The crime bosses don’t do the dirty work – they hide in their mansions and spend huge amounts buying stolen cars and illegal firearms and paying others to fire the bullets. Without access to their illicit drug derived wealth, they will not be able to fund these atrocities.”