Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Criminals having ‘no issue with cost of living’: top cop


Criminals having ‘no issue with cost of living’: top cop

Max MasonSenior reporter

Australia’s top cop says criminals are “living large” off the proceeds of hundreds of millions of dollars made importing drugs, are having “no issue with the cost of living” increases hitting law-abiding citizens, and are spending huge amounts on property and luxury goods.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw told the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee late on Monday that illicit drug importation polluted Australia’s financial system to the tune of tens of millions of dollars every day.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw during an estimates hearing at Parliament House in Canberra in November. Alex Ellinghausen

“Law-abiding Australians are earning an honest day’s living, paying their
taxes and being good community citizens,” he said in an opening statement.

“Organised criminals are living large and have no issue with the cost of

Earlier this month, the AFP charged nine individuals of an international money laundering syndicate and confiscated more than $150 million in Sydney property, cash and luxury items.

The bust was part of Operation Avarus-Midas which is identifying criminal groups in Australia and offshore using money laundering organisation to get their dirty money into the financial system.

“In our region, the AFP has observed an increase in illicit drugs, such as
cocaine and methamphetamine, being sent by Mexican and South
American cartels through the Pacific, hoping to capitalise on profits from
Australia’s drug consumption,” Mr Kershaw said.

“I am also concerned about the expansion of outlaw motorcycle groups in
the Pacific.”

Max Mason covers courts, insolvency, regulation, financial crime, cybercrime and corporate wrongdoing. He joined the masthead in 2013 and has held a number of roles, including media editor and telecommunications reporter. He is based in Sydney.Connect with Max on Twitter. Email Max at