Category Archives: GANGS

Federal Budget 2017: Gangs, terrorists targeted in $321 million Australian Federal Police shakeup

A MASSIVE $321 million boost to the Australian Federal Police budget will mean 300 extra covert intelligence operators and forensic specialists to help protect Australians from the threat of terrorism.

GANGS and local terrorists will be the target of a beefed-up Australian Federal Police force in a $321 million Turnbull government plan to tackle ­violent crime.

A major drive to recruit 300 specialist police will see AFP ranks bolstered by new tactical response teams, undercover investigators and forensic experts, some of whom will ­support Victoria Police to iden­tify and arrest gang members.

The security package, to be announced today, is part of a Budget spending spree, which will also benefit Victorians with $100 million to help struggling manufacturing businesses adapt after the car industry closure. Treasurer Scott Morrison told the Herald Sun Tuesday’s Budget aimed to deliver fairness, security and opportunity, sharing the benefits of Australia’s economic growth with everyone.

“We know that things are improving globally and we’ve got to make the right choices to secure those better days ahead,” Mr Morrison said.

“We have to keep the economy growing for more and better paying jobs, to guarantee the services that Australians rely on, to put downward pressure on rising costs of living, and to ensure that the government lives within its means.”

The four-year AFP funding boost will pay for 100 intelligence experts, almost 100 forensic specialists and more than 100 tactical response and covert surveillance officers.

The package will fund more 100 intelligence experts and more.

Firearms specialists, bomb response technicians, intelligence analysts, negotiators and covert online investigators will be added to the AFP’s ranks, with several new officers placed on the National Anti-Gangs Taskforce to help Victoria Police.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said violent crime and criminal gangs were “two of the biggest issues facing Victoria” and the government would back the AFP to “crack down” on them.

“Victorians, like all Australians, deserve to feel safe to go about their daily lives without fear,” he said.

Mr Keenan said it was the largest funding boost for the AFP’s domestic policing operations in a decade.

“This will equip the AFP with new capabilities and greater flexibility to respond rapidly to emerging crimes today, and into the future,” he said. “The additional experts will fast-track investigations and lock up criminals sooner, targeting areas of priority including terrorism, criminal gangs, drugs, organised crime, cybercrime, fraud and anti-corruption.”

The AFP had previously raised concerns about its lack of funding, but Mr Keenan said the investment was “the first step in the AFP’s 10-year plan” for its future.

Another key element in the Budget will be the $100 million package to help struggling manufacturing businesses grow and adapt to changing technologies.

It includes $47.5 million over the next two years to pay for a third of the costs of capital upgrades to businesses in Victoria and South Australia that are trying to compete in the wake of the car industry closure.

“We shouldn’t fold our tents and believe Australians can’t compete. We can,” Industry and Innovation Minister ­Arthur Sinodinos said.

Mr Morrison said the Budget aimed to help Australians who had not shared in the ­nation’s strong growth.

“Our economic growth has been very good in a global context. At a personal level, at a household level, at a business-by-business level, things have been and felt a lot tougher.”

The manufacturing package also includes $5 million to help automotive research, particularly by students at ­universities.

Australia’s most successful businesswoman Gina Rinehart says Malcolm Turnbull must learn from Donald Trump to make Australia great again.

Ms Rinehart has urged the Prime Minister to cut spending and waste in Tuesday’s federal Budget, saying it is “frustrating” Australia is losing crucial investment.

“We have to do more to cut out spending. We’ve got to cut out a big slab of the expense of government,” she said.

Henry Sapiecha

Philippines call centre worker stole Australian Citibank customer details for Sydney crime gang, police say

Arrested One of four men arrested for allegedly buying bank customers credit card details from a call centre worker. Photo NSW Police image

Arrested: One of four men arrested for allegedly buying bank customers credit card details from a call centre worker. Photo: NSW Police

An overseas call centre employee allegedly collected banking details of Australian Citibank customers and sold them to a Sydney crime syndicate, which then used the details to defraud the customers of more than $1 million, police say.

Police allege the worker, employed by a firm in the Philippines that carries out customer relations for a number of Australian-based companies, collected banking information, passwords and personal details for the syndicate.

The syndicate then allegedly used the details to make withdrawals and order new credit cards

The alleged identity fraud racket came unstuck last month when police pulled over a car at Beverly Hills, in Sydney’s south, for a random breath test and found a number of allegedly fraudulent documents and other “suspicious items” in the vehicle.

Officers matched details in the documents with frauds against banking customers reported to police by Citibank, sparking an investigation by St George police and the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad.

Four male members of the alleged Sydney syndicate, aged between 23 and 38, were arrested in raids on two homes at Liverpool and West Hoxton on Thursday morning.

They have been charged with multiple fraud offences including using false documents to obtain financial advantage and knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime.

Arrested One of four men arrested for allegedly buying bank customers credit card details from a call centre worker. Photo NSW Police image-2

“I’d like to congratulate those officers for their initiative in searching the vehicle and linking the items found with the reports made by the financial institution,” St George Local Area Command Superintendent Dave Donohue said.

“Their proactive work has played a critical role in the dismantling of a syndicate targeting unsuspecting banking customers, and has potentially prevented many more potential victims from suffering significant financial loss.”

A spokesman for Citibank said it had worked with police to identify those allegedly responsible and that no customer would be “financially impacted”.

“Citi has identified a limited fraud committed against a small number of customer accounts and immediately reported the matter to the NSW Police Fraud Squad,” a spokesman said.

“We are co-operating fully with the police investigation and are satisfied that all those responsible have been identified.”

Police said inquiries into the call centre and other possible victims were continuing.

The four men will appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Friday.


Henry Sapiecha


Queensland Police’s Maxima anti-bikie taskforce raided the Phoenix Global offices earlier this year after stumbling upon links between the company and associates of outlaw motorcycle clubs under investigation for fraud.

Officers from the Queensland Police’s Maxima anti-bikie taskforce raided the Phoenix Global offices earlier this year after stumbling upon links between the company and associates of outlaw motorcycle clubs under investigation for fraud.

Zach Featherstone works for Phoenix Global, his father's Southport-based private investigation company. (ABC News) image

The probe was handed to the CCC because of suspicions that Mr Featherstone may have been protected by serving or former police officers, and because of the body’s expertise in forensic accounting.

The ABC understands investigators are also examining possible links to senior Mongols enforcer Nick “The Knife” Forbes and Mongols associate Jason Trouchet.

Mr Forbes triggered a riot at a kickboxing tournament in Pacific Pines in the Gold Coast hinterland in 2006 in which a rival bikie was shot, an incident known as the “Ballroom Blitz”.

Mr Trouchet is alleged to have been the target of a bikie brawl at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast in September 2013 that helped spark the Queensland Government’s controversial crackdown on bikie gangs.


Both men were previously associated with the Finks motorcycle club.

Trail leads officers to NSW crime figure

The US-based Mongols motorcycle club took over the Australia-based chapters of the Finks in a so-called patch-over last year.

Another trail has led investigators to Sydney and a significant organised crime figure.

A senior NSW law enforcement official has told the ABC this person has been linked to drugs from cannabis to heroin, has close ties to outlaw motorcycle gangs, and was a suspect in two underworld murders.

The official also said the man had been a regular visitor to the Gold Coast.

The ABC knows the man’s identity but has chosen not to make it public.

The Crime and Corruption Commission declined to comment on interstate leads, telling the ABC only that its investigation was ongoing.

It is understood CCC investigators have several months of work ahead of them analysing evidence before any arrests are likely.