AFP to Crack Down on Italian Money Laundering Syndicates Operating in Australia

  • Richard Marley
  • June 07, 2022
  • 2 minutes read
  • 570

The AFP is set to crack down on Italian organised crime and money laundering syndicates flowing billions of dollars through the Australian financial system every year. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2022 will mark the first anniversary of Operation Ironside, which is the largest operation against organised crime in the AFP’s history.

In Australia, 383 alleged offenders have been charged with 2340 offences. More than 6.3 tonnes of illicit drugs, 147 weapons/firearms and $55 million has been seized. Forty-two offenders charged under Operation Ironside have already pleaded guilty or have been sentenced.

Globally, excluding Australian statistics, more than 700 alleged offenders have been charged and 65 tonnes of illicit drugs seized.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Crime Command Nigel Ryan said the intelligence obtained through AN0M provided an invaluable insight into the scale of illicit drug imports facilitated by the ‘Ndrangheta, the profits they were making and how often they worked with outlaw motorcycle groups.

“In collaboration with Italian authorities, the AFP has been mapping and assessing the familial relationships, through blood or marriage of the ‘Ndrangheta in Australia,’’ Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.

“Our intelligence, new powers under the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Act 2021, our world-leading capabilities and our international networks are beginning to remove the cloak of secrecy that has allowed members of the ‘Ndrangeta to operate in Australia with impunity for too many years.

“We have about 51 Italian organised crime clans in Australia.

“We have identified 14 confirmed ‘Ndrangheta clans across Australia, involving thousands of members.

“Our picture of the clans is continuing to grow, but intelligence suggests their overall membership could potentially be similar to that of patched members in Australian outlaw motorcycle gangs. That shows how subterranean and significant the ‘Ndrangheta are in Australia.”

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