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The Organised

The Organised are groups which use a combination of methods in planned, coordinated and sophisticated ways to dishonestly gain benefits.

Organised crime groups in Australia can range from local crime groups to overseas based groups. They are diverse, flexible, capable, resourceful and resilient. They evolve and adapt to changes in the environment to look for vulnerabilities to exploit for criminal gain. They are also increasingly using professional facilitators and service providers to help or facilitate their criminal activities.

Examples:

  • A sophisticated scam operator creates a false business and website to legitimise a fraud scheme.
  • A serious and organised crime group collaborates with an accountant to falsify business records to receive grant funding.

Case studies

Three Queensland women allegedly submitted several fraudulent applications to attempt to access early release of superannuation totalling $113,500. Police allege that the women, who are allegedly linked to a sophisticated crime gang, collected identity data in order to access the superannuation accounts of unsuspecting victims. The women were arrested following investigations by the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce.

Multiple people have been charged and convicted as part of Operation Elbrus which revealed a group of people were using payroll services companies to divert pay-as-you-go withholding tax and goods and services tax owed to the ATO. The group is alleged to have defrauded the Commonwealth of over $105 million over three years. Sixteen people have been charged, with multiple being convicted and sentenced to prison.

Countermeasures

Counter the Organised using measures that support information sharing and strategic collaboration:

Establish governance, accountability and oversight of processes by using delegations and requiring committees and project boards to oversee critical decisions and risk. Good governance, accountability and oversight increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.

Collaborate with strategic partners such as other government entities, committees, working groups and taskforces. This allows you to share capability, information and intelligence and to prevent and disrupt fraud.

Automatically match data with another internal or external source to obtain or verify relevant details or supporting evidence. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.

 Investigate fraud in line with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (AGIS).

Coordinate disruption activities across multiple programs or entities to strengthen processes and identify serious and organised criminals targeting multiple programs.

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