Waterfront mansions, high-end sports cars and luxury goods are all in police sights as officers probe the suspected profits of criminal kingpins.
NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley warned senior gang members they are on notice, amid a spate of brazen gang-related shootings in Sydney.
“The NSW Police Force and NSW Crime Commission will hunt you down, they will seize your assets and use that money to come after more of you,” she said on Sunday.
A new task force, comprised of forensic accountants, intelligence analysts and lawyers, will work with organised crime detectives to follow the money trail of underworld figures.
Onus of proof reversed
Under legislation passed by the NSW parliament earlier this year officers can seize assets reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of crime.
The onus is then on the individual to prove to the court their wealth was gained legitimately.
Ms Catley said crime bosses are “highly skilled at hiding their wealth” and many never face a court.
“Today’s announcement means we’ll confiscate their criminally acquired wealth anyway,” she said.
The team will launch using an initial investment of $2 million, with additional ongoing funding of about $4 million per year.
The proceeds of confiscated items are expected to further fund the team’s work.
‘Paying others to fire the bullets’
NSW Crime Commissioner Michael Barnes said the force would focus on identifying people who are already well known to police who do not have enough evidence to be charged.
“The crime bosses don’t do the dirty work – they hide in their mansions and spend huge amounts buying stolen cars and illegal firearms and paying others to fire the bullets,” Mr Barnes said.
“Without access to their illicit drug derived wealth, they will not be able to fund these atrocities.”
A series of shootings in Sydney over the past month has sparked fears the city’s gang wars are escalating.
The execution-style murder of a man in Canterbury on Thursday – the fifth targeted shooting in a week – came less than 24 hours after high-profile criminal lawyer Mahmoud Abbas survived a shooting outside a home in Greenacre.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/crime-news/2023/07/30/police-gangland-warlords-confiscations/ ‘We’re coming for your wealth’