Feds seizing $5m of dirty assets every week
The AFP is seizing an average of about $5m a week in assets from criminal syndicates, hauling in mansions, boats, cars, jewellery and even a farm bought with dirty money.
The massive haul comes as the federal police attempt to inflict maximum damage on organised criminal syndicates by targeting everything bought with tainted money.
AFP Criminal Assets Confiscation Task-force national manager Stefan Jerga said officers were "undermining the profitability of criminal enterprises".
"We come after all their assets," he said. "Whether it be the roof over their heads, their modes of transport and recreational toys, moneys in their possession or bank accounts, or the watches, bags and shoes they parade, we target it all."
This financial year the taskforce has restrained more than $150 million of criminal assets in courts across Australia and about $100 million from overseas cases.
The bounty includes a 1200ha Tasmanian farm worth $5 million, mansions, luxury cars and boats, bank accounts, cash, cryptocurrency, high end jewellery and luxury goods such as handbags.
An investigation into a large scale customs fraud and alcohol smuggling matter led to the seizure of a $4.5 million home in Sydney's eastern suburbs and a $250,000 Mercedes-Benz.
Items have been seized in cases involving money laundering, drug trafficking, illicit tobacco, identity crime, tax and corporations offences and various types of fraud.
In 2019, the AFP seized a $5 million palatial Sunshine Coast waterfront mansion from the daughter of a bankrupt French businessman accused of embezzling $30 million from investors.
"Targeting the criminal economy by confiscating criminal assets, and removing the profit from crime, is one of a number of strategies deployed by the AFP and its partners to disrupt organised criminal activity and deliver maximum damage to the criminal environment," Mr Jerga said.
The seized goods are held while all court proceedings play out and are then sold.
The Home Affairs Minister then redistributes the money to crime prevention and law enforcement related measures such as child protection, Neighbourhood Watch programs and a national DNA program for unidentified and missing persons.
Originally published as Feds seizing $5m of dirty assets every week