20 October 2011


The 2010-2011 annual report of Australian Crime Commission [PDF] echoes the organised crime report of earlier this year in announcing that "Serious and organised crime is an ever-evolving transnational phenomenon". It goes on to explain - quelle surprise - that -
But for all its manifestations, the underlying motivations are constant: greed and power drive organised crime and money is its lifeblood.

This greed has a significant impact on all of us. Organised crime threatens national security, affects our wellbeing and undermines our economy. In monetary value alone, organised crime costs the Australian community around $15 billion a year. Add to this the untold damage caused to communities, families and individuals.

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) reduces that impact by working with our partner agencies to identify, disrupt and prevent organised crime of national significance.

It does this by bringing people together to defeat, and defend against, serious and organised crime, through effective use of knowledge derived from criminal intelligence.
The report is very much a promo document, punctuated with breakout boxes such as "ACC are making a very positive contribution in the national
security arena by developing good partnerships with key enabling organisations. ACC Stakeholder Research". Only a brave agency would publish statements indicating that our numerous competitors think that we're fat, lazy, stupid, not necessary, egregiously self-involved or otherwise a waste of resources, so I shouldn't be too hard on the self-justification.

From an identity crime perspective the highlights are -
Corsair/Kensai — These long-term joint Victoria Police/ACC investigations disrupted a network of Victorian drug trafficking syndicates.
– In November 2010, Victoria Police members intercepted a vehicle of interest, seizing 127 grams of methylamphetamine, a card-making machine for VICROADS licences and several false identifications. Police charged one man with drug trafficking offences and some 80 other matters related to making, possessing and using false identifications. [p89]

ACC support and membership of the Organised Crime Framework Identity Crime Response Team (a multi-agency identity crime working group) resulted in the Response Team initiating and endorsing intelligence products including:
◗ a national all-agency Identity Crime Intelligence Collection Plan aimed at identifying current intelligence gaps and defining collection strategies
◗ an ACC intelligence scoping paper of recent significant identity crime investigations across Australia, aimed at identifying links between crime groups, as well as new methodologies and prevention strategies
◗ an ACC intelligence scoping paper examining current and future trends in the exploitation of technology for organised crime purposes. [p128]
We helped scope and develop tools to support partner agencies to combat and reduce the impact of complex organised technology enabled crime on the Australian community.
These tools include:
◗ the proposed National Cybercrime online reporting portal
◗ a specific Cybercrime Desk and Identity Crime Desk within the Australian Law Enforcement Intelligence Net (ALEIN)
◗ Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) national cybercrime information sharing protocols agreement.
In addition, the Organised Crime Framework Identity Crime Response Team’s work initiated key harm reduction strategies including:
◗ a national Document Verification System to reduce the incidence of false identity documents
◗ identity crime victims statements under amendments to the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995
◗ support for the Industry & Community Partnerships Project to detect and prevent identity crimes.
We conducted 10 examinations which have provided operational reporting products addressing:
◗ credit card and EFTPOS skimming (facilitators, organisers and technical aspects)
◗ organised identity crime in migration and loan fraud (facilitators, organisers and methodologies)
◗ manufacturing, sale and purchase of falsified identity documents including foreign passports
◗ the use of telecommunications cloning technology by groups in New South Wales and Victoria — including facilitators, technical intelligence and the identity of compromised equipment (subscriber identity module or 'SIM' and international mobile equipment identity or 'IMEI').
The Complex Organised Technology Enabled Crime (incorporating Identity Crime) Special Intelligence Operation concluded on 30 June 2011. Our contribution in this area will continue under our new work priorities, in particular the Special Operations: National Security Impacts from Serious & Organised Crime; and Making Australia Hostile to Serious & Organised Crime. [p129]
Questions by the ANAO and other bodies regarding the national Document Verification System have been noted elsewhere on this blog. In the absence of information it's impossible to make an authoritative assessment of what's happening at the ACC and whether it's operating effectively.