The Beat
26 Mar 2015|

Blue Sky, 99.1% chemically pure crystal methamphetamine manufactured by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the TV show Breaking Bad.This week on The Beat; terrorism financing in Indonesia from Australia, ACC report on ‘ice’ use, cybercrime to cost US$400 billion, witness in Alexander Litvinenko inquiry, and metadata.

Indonesian terrorism funding from Australia

New reports state money thought to be financing terrorism is flowing into Indonesia from Australia. The deputy head of Indonesia’s Financial Transactions and Analysis Centre (PPTAK), Agus Santoso, stated that the funds were being directed to a variety of organisations, and that Indonesia was working closely with Austrac to trace the funds.

Austrac has been working with partners to counter this issue, citing the serious threat it poses to Australian at home and abroad. This 2014 report outlines Austrac’s counterterrorism financing framework and activities, both domestically and overseas.

New report on ‘ice’ use

While the hit TV show Breaking Bad has shaped popular views of methamphetamine production, a new report by the Australian Crime Commission provides a clear insight into the Australian market for this drug. They note changes in the market since 2010, especially in increases  in the volume of the drug and its precursors that are imported from overseas.

The ACC also identifies that Australians are willing to pay far more for this drug than others. For instance, a gram of ice in China costs US$80, but it fetches US$500 here. They also detail some of the ways serious crime gangs are ‘marketing’ their drug to find new users. Justice Minister Michael Keenan has supported the ACC’s findings, describing ice as the biggest drug problem facing Australian police.

Cybercrime to cost US$400 billion per year

A new report claims cybercrime is set to cost the global economy upwards of US$400 billion per year, with only 16% of IT professionals in the financial sector feeling adequately prepared to fend off intrusions.

Unsurprisingly, the report’s authors describe people— not technology—as the weakest link in safeguarding against cybercrime. For all the resources and technology poured into defending information from cyberattacks, it only takes one instance of human error to compromise protection. The report also refers to the increasing relationship between cybercrime and organised crime, an issue we’ve discussed previously.

Witness in Alexander Litvinenko poisoning inquiry

In our recent update on the inquiry into Russian KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoning, we mentioned that Russia had refused to extradite the two suspect in the case to London. However lawyers have now told the hearing that Dmitri Kovtun is ‘willing to participate’ in the proceedings. Both Scotland Yard and the inquiry chairman have expressed concerns over what this unexpected development may mean. The inquiry will resume on 30 March.


In its recent report on extremism amongst young Muslims in Sydney, the Daily Telegraph let a pun—which may have seemed amusing in the drafting process—make it to print. It’s certainly not the first time the Australian print media have let seemingly obvious errors reach the printers. Still, it’s important we recognise and respect youth workers working with at-risk young people as they are often on the front line of dealing with radicalised individuals. You can read more about building community resilience at Living Safe Together.

Coming up

The Senate this week began debating contentions metadata laws, with the government yet to reveal the costs of mandatory metadata retention. Debate is set to continue today before going to a vote.