26 September 2023

New police powers to target organised crime

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The Premier has announced that what he calls the State’s toughest ever laws against organised crime have been proposed, with new powers for police and tougher penalties targeting money laundering and unexplained wealth.

According to Premier Dominic Perrottet, the reforms are to see NSW introduce world-leading legislation to target encrypted communication devices used by criminals to avoid law enforcement.

Mr Perrottet said the reforms were designed to strike organised crime networks at their financial base, stop criminals from profiting from their actions and incapacitate them financially.

“Organised crime is all about drug supply and money – and to truly shut it down we need to shut down the flow of dollars that fuels it,” Mr Perrottet said.

“These reforms will better arm law enforcement with the powers they need to confiscate unexplained wealth and create new offences and tougher penalties for those seeking to launder money derived from criminal activity,” he said.

“Organised crime and the technologies that criminals use to operate are always changing and evolving, and these reforms will put our state in the strongest position to deal with these insidious crimes.”

Mr Perrottet said the reforms would include new powers to confiscate unlawfully acquired assets, enhanced powers to target and confiscate unexplained wealth, expanded powers to stop and search for unexplained wealth, and new prohibition orders to target high-risk individuals

Minister for Police, Paul Toole said the laws would give police tough new powers to infiltrate organised criminal networks that increasingly relied on dedicated encrypted devices to avoid detection by law enforcement.

“We know these devices are being used to plan serious crimes like drugs and firearms smuggling, money laundering and even murder,” Mr Toole said.

“These reforms will make it an offence to possess these kinds of devices and allow us to better target high-risk individuals from using them to orchestrate crime.”

Mr Perrottet said legislation to underpin the reforms would be introduced when NSW Parliament returned for the Spring session.

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