"Within a year, Fusion has identified 53 new targets involved in serious organised crime. That's a great result for crime fighting across Australia and the safety and security of our nation as a whole," Mr O'Connor said.Fusion, ie the National Criminal Intelligence Fusion Centre coordinated by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), comprises Commonwealth agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Australian Customs & Border Protection Service, the Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre (Austrac), Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, the Department of Immigration & Citizenship and state police forces.
"A number of these targets have been identified as laundering suspected criminal proceeds in excess of $100 million a year. All targets are now firmly in the sights of law enforcement agencies nationally," he said.
It was launched last year, at a cost of $14.5m, as "a key plank of the Gillard Government's assault on organised crime".
It is a critical element of the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework, providing the means to identify patterns of crime and the flows of money associated with them. From this information, Fusion is able to identify the individuals, businesses and corporate structures involved in criminal enterprises in Australia.In promoting the initiative the Minister stated that -
The ACC-led Fusion Capability is about integrating or ‘fusing’ the national criminal intelligence picture. It represents a significant step towards delivery of a real-time national picture of the threat being posed to Australia by organised crime. It brings together people from a range of Government agencies, who work collaboratively to provide a more comprehensive picture of the targets, risks, threats and vulnerabilities associated with organised crime. These people have a variety of expertise and unique skills, as well as access to their own agencies’ information holdings.
"Fusion brings together specialists from a broad range of agencies to work collaboratively to prevent, disrupt, investigate and prosecute organised crime."If you want to go beyond taglines such as "Fusion has generated over 2300 actionable leads" and "Fusion has also produced 974 intelligence reports that have been disseminated to 53 partner agencies" you can contemplate two 'case studies' -
Fusion provides in-depth criminal intelligence and analysis and boosts the capability of law enforcement agencies to identify high-risk cash flows, patterns of crime and the people, businesses and corporate structures that may be involved in criminal enterprises in Australia and overseas.
"Through the integration of public and private sector information holdings with the Australian Crime Commission's criminal intelligence, Fusion is able to identify patterns of crime and the flows of money associated with them," Mr O'Connor said.It
Case Study 1
Comparing the details of over 28 000 casino high-rollers Australia-wide against the known nationally significant criminal targets and their close associates revealed 78 potential matches. Some of the losses were recorded in the millions of dollars. Further investigation revealed that for many of these individuals there is no apparent legitimate source of income to explain these large sums of money. Intelligence summaries were provided to relevant partner agencies, leading to a better understanding of the financial picture surrounding these individuals. Cases of apparent fraud involving the welfare system were forwarded to Centrelink. Instances of unexplained wealth were provided to the Australian Federal Police-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Task Force for ongoing action.
Case Study 2
Using filtering techniques to identify anomalous money movement among the many millions of overseas financial transactions reported to the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) each day, Fusion has identified individuals that are sending large amounts of drug-related profits offshore. One remittance agency operating from two small city shop fronts was found to be moving relatively large amounts of funds offshore — approximately $20 million in a single month — most of which was suspected of being the proceeds of criminal activity. Further investigation identified several customers with apparent links to criminal syndicates involved in the importation, manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs. These customers are now subject to law enforcement and regulatory attention.