This week on The Beat, indigenous communities, piracy, remittance services closing, sport, calls for a greater transnational focus on organised crime and a former PM gets a rude shock on social media.
Organised crime targeting indigenous communities
An Australian Crime Commission internal report claims that organised criminal groups are planning to steal from indigenous communities who survive on mining royalties and land use agreements.
Following an eight year investigation across the country, the National Indigenous Intelligence Taskforce commented that the increasing sources of revenue for indigenous communities, including commercial and social enterprises generating significant incomes, created an environment of significant inducements and extensive opportunities for criminal exploitation.
Piracy and Australia
Still at home, an international insurance firm notes an increasing incidence of piracy near Australia. While the incidents are low level, there’s potential that they may increase in size and scale if not bought under control.
Interestingly, the report highlights the decreasing incidence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and an increase near Indonesia, as well as the new ‘hotspot’ in the Gulf of Guinea off western Africa.
Westpac close remittance services
Westpac this week became the last of the Big Four Australian banks to close their remittance services. This move has severely disappointed Australia’s Somali community, who rely on the services to send much-needed funds to families in Somalia for food, water and essential services, according to Dr Hussein Haraco of the Somali Remittance Action Group. He notes that Somali-Australians send $10.5 million each year, and expressed fears that a lack of funds could lead to humanitarian disasters.
Australian banks have been moving away from remittance services thanks to increased restrictions and concerns that their services will be used to launder money and finance terrorism. This, however, appears to be one example of legitimate essential services being comprised without a viable alternative being offered, a move detrimental to our communities.
RUSI Report: Preventing Serious and Organised Crime Needs to Move Upstream
New analysis of the Home Office Strategic Centre for Organised Crime’s Prevent guide from the Royal United Services Institute has appraised the adoption of the ‘4P Strategy’ (Prevent, Pursue, Protect, Prepare) from countering terrorism to countering organised crime.
Whilst these programs have made a positive contribution towards eliminating organised crime domestically, there’s more work that could be done transnationally. Extending the ‘Prevent’ strategy further upstream to deter international engagement with organised crime within the United Kingdom will strengthen the response’s effectiveness.
Football and organised crime
Essendon players have been cleared of wrongdoing in the long-running drugs probe just before the 2015 AFL season begins. But the spectre of crime in sport remains. In this profile, Mike Marinetto looks at how major sporting clubs have become implicated in money laundering in Colombia, Italy and the United Kingdom.
One case Marinetto examines is the investigation into oligarch and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich by Alexander Litvinenko, whose murder inquiry we’ve discussed recently.
Former PM gets catfished
Barely a week goes by where we don’t mention identity or cyber fraud in some way. So perhaps it’s comforting that even our most eminent fall victim, too.
John Howard was recently shocked to discover that someone had set up a rather convincing fake Facebook profile for him, giving status updates on cricket and politics. The account amassed 37,000 followers before a journalist mentioned it to Howard. Perhaps this serves as reminder for us all to check our cyber footprint.