Australia: NSW super-squad to chase top crims

New South Wales police say a newly formed squad will hit elite organised criminals where it hurts by cracking down on money FCA - super heroeslaundering and tracking the proceeds of crime.

The state’s Asian Crime Squad, Organised Crime Targeting Squad and Casino and Racing Investigation Unit have merged to become the Organised Crime Squad, which is backed up by the NSW Crime Commission and federal law enforcement agencies.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the squad’s brief was to pursue criminals at “the top of the food chain“.

“It’s all about the money,” Mr Scipione told reporters on Tuesday.

“We will see a fully dedicated money-laundering unit that will go after those that are laundering money (and) unexplained wealth.

“I don’t think many of these crime syndicates have amassed their money simply because they’re good savers.”

Squad commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said his 100-strong team was already pursuing lines of inquiry ranging from gambling to drug trafficking.

“The focus for us is going to be criminal networks, not an individual group at any moment in time,” he said.

“We’re going to work with other agencies, as well as the NSW Crime Commission, to make sure that we cut everyone off – the lawyers, accountants, other professionals – doesn’t matter who they are, they might find themselves down at the Crime Commission answering questions.”

NSW Crime Commissioner Peter Hastings QC said the new squad was a response to increasingly sophisticated crime syndicates.

“There are increasing and disturbing signs of enhanced sophistication amongst some criminal groups,” he said.

“Fortunately, a lot of criminals aren’t all that bright. They make mistakes, they become visible and they become apprehended.

“At the same time, there are people out there in the strand of organised crime who do not make mistakes, are not visible.”

The squad formally came into effect in Saturday.

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