Tag: crime

AFP-led ‘Operation Ironside’ bursts global-linked organised crime in drugs with encrypted messaging app

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 8 June 2021: A joint global operation led by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with America’s FBI, has burst an internationally connected organized crime with an encrypted app, ANoM, a world-leading capability to see encrypted communications used exclusively by organized crime. The encrypted communications – which allegedly included plots to kill, mass drug trafficking, and gun distribution – were decrypted from a platform covertly run by the FBI.

The revelations today came out in an early morning televised media conference by PM Scott Morrison, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, and FBI Legal Attaché US Embassy Anthony Russo from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Sydney.

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The Australian Prime Minister said the operation was a ‘heavy blow’ stuck against organized crime.

More than 4,000 members from the AFP and state and territory police have been involved in the execution of hundreds of warrants since 7 June 2021, under Operation Ironside, which covertly began three years ago. Operation Ironside led to the arrest of 224 offenders on 526 charges in every mainland Australian state. 3.7 tonnes of drugs, 104 weapons, $44,934,457 million in cash, and assets expected to run into the millions of dollars, have been seized under Operation Ironside since 2018.

The AFP also acted on 20 threats to kill, potentially saving the lives of a significant number of innocent bystanders, with intelligence referred to state police agencies that took immediate action. More arrests are expected domestically and offshore under a coordinated global response connected to Operation Ironside.

The AFP is also likely to seek extradition requests of a number of persons of interest living overseas. It comes as there have been tonnes of drugs and hundreds of arrests overseas. The AFP will allege offenders linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, an Asian crime syndicate, and Albanian organized crime are among those charged under Operation Ironside.

Operation Ironside began almost three years ago and is the Australian component of a long-term, international, covert investigation. The FBI and AFP targeted the dedicated encrypted communications platform, which was used exclusively by organized crime.

After working in close partnership on Operation Safe Cracking to take down the encrypted platform provider Phantom Secure, the AFP and FBI worked together to fill the vacuum.
The FBI had access to a new app, named AN0M, and began running it without the knowledge of the criminal underworld.

The AFP provided the highly skilled technical staff, and the capability to decrypt and read encrypted communications in real-time, giving law enforcement an edge it had never had before.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw thanked the FBI for its cooperation, along with the 18 countries that worked with the AFP to maintain the integrity of the platform.

As part of the global operation, more than 9000 officers from law enforcement have deployed to the international efforts. Commissioner Kershaw acknowledged the significant resources provided by Australia’s state and territory police during the days of resolution.

“Today, Australia is a much safer country because of the extraordinary outcome under Operation Ironside,’’ Commissioner Kershaw said.

He said, “It highlights how devastatingly effective the AFP is when it works with local and global partners, and takes its fight against transnational organized crime offshore. This world-first operation will give the AFP, state, and territory police years of intelligence and evidence. There is also the potential for a number of cold cases to be solved because of Operation Ironside. However, tomorrow, and in the future, law enforcement will come up against serious challenges.

AN0M was an influential encrypted communications app but there are even bigger encrypted platforms that are being used by transnational and serious organized criminals targeting Australia. They are almost certainly using those encrypted platforms to flood Australia with drugs, guns and undermine our economy by laundering billions of dollars of illicit profit.

Organized crime syndicates target Australia because sadly, the drug market is so lucrative. Australians are among the world’s biggest drug takers. One of the causes behind domestic violence, sexual assault, neglect of children, and unspeakable tragedy, is illicit drugs. Our first responders, our teachers, and every Australian should be able to go to work and live in our communities without being harmed by an individual under the influence of dangerous drugs.

The app AN0M was installed on mobile phones that were stripped of other capability. The mobile phones, which were bought on the black market, could not make calls or send emails. It could only send messages to another device that had the organized crime app. Criminals needed to know a criminal to get a device.

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The devices organically circulated and grew in popularity among criminals, who were confident of the legitimacy of the app because high-profile organized crime figures vouched for its integrity.”

“These criminal influencers put the AFP in the back pocket of hundreds of alleged offenders. Essentially, they have handcuffed each other by endorsing and trusting AN0M and openly communicating on it – not knowing we were watching the entire time,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

FBI International Operations Division Legal Attaché for Canberra Anthony Russo said criminals around the world had long used encrypted criminal communications platforms to avoid law enforcement detection. The FBI, with our international partners, will continue to adapt to criminal behavior and develop novel approaches to bring these criminals to justice,” he said.
“We appreciate our long-standing partnership with the Australian Federal Police in the fight against transnational organized crime.”

Crime Stoppers materials in your own language

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Source- crimestoppers.com.au

By SAT Newe Desk

MELBOURNE, 26 March 2021: The ‘Crime Stoppers’ encourages people to report about “unsolved crimes and suspicious activity”. To make things easy it has developed the “It’s what you know, not who you are” campaign in some of Australia’s most common languages. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Traditional and Simple), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi, and Vietnamese, the materials help to encourage people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to share what they know with Crime Stoppers.

“Crime happens across all different cultural backgrounds, which is why we want people to know that Crime Stoppers is here for everyone. Even though some people might come from countries that are war-torn or have an embedded distrust of police and authority, we are an independent program that acts as a trusted link between the community and police for anyone with information about unsolved crime and suspicious activity,” says the crime Stoppers site.

CLICK HERE to download DL-sized brochures in Arabic, Chinese Simple, Chinese Traditional, English, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Punjabi, and Vietnamese. You can also download A3 posters in these languages.

Crime Stoppers also has got a great range of 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds animated videos for you to download and share with your friends, family, and community in all of the languages above, at its YouTube channel.

Report crime confidentially at the new Crime Stoppers website

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Photo- Crime Stoppers

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 8 February 2021: Sharing what you want to inform Crime Stoppers confidentially has never been so easy and quick. The public shift to online services has meant that more and more people are choosing to share their crime information online. Since 2017 the number of online tips to Crime Stoppers has increased by an average of 20% each year. The new reporting system uses conditional logic, determining future questions based on the information the person provides.

What hasn’t changed is Crime Stoppers’ focus on anonymity. As with all tips to Crime Stoppers, we don’t want to know who you are, just what you know. Although comprehensive information is invaluable, the smallest detail can help solve a crime. Crime Stoppers Victoria’s CEO, Stella Smith says, “you don’t have to be 100% sure to make a tip to Crime Stoppers. If it is enough to make you suspicious, it is enough to let us know.”

Every day brings something new at Crime Stoppers, with the public sharing information about a wide range of crimes, including high-risk road users, illegal firearms, homicide, and the manufacture and supply of drugs in the community. In recent years high profile crimes have also prompted Victorians to flood the Crime Stoppers call center and website with information for investigators.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville says, “Reporting suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers is not only a huge help to police by saving valuable time and resources, but it also helps to keep the Victorian community safe.”
“The information which members of the public have provided through Crime Stoppers has led Victoria Police to arrest more than 26,000 people and layover 100,000 charges since it was established in 1987.”

Despite the overwhelming support the program receives from the public, sharing success stories of individual cases is a challenge. Stella Smith said “the commitment to anonymity means each tip is treated like it has the potential to divulge someone’s identity. If a criminal knew that police were tipped off with a call to Crime Stoppers, that might be enough for them to work out the identity of the caller and we cannot allow that to happen.”

To make the sharing of crime information easier for Victorians, the new reporting system uses simple illustrations and has been translated into ten languages including Mandarin, Hindi and Arabic.

The new-look website is still home to community safety campaigns and resources covering a range of crime prevention tips to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

The new Crime Stoppers Victoria website is also a place for the public to be amateur detectives. The website features hundreds of images of people police need help identifying.

Victorians can swipe through these images on their phones and quickly share what they know with Crime Stoppers. Every piece of information helps keep Victoria safe.

The new website was developed with funding from the Department of Justice and Community Safety. “The capability and security of this site was beyond what a not-for-profit organization could achieve on its own, so the support of the Victorian Government has been invaluable,” said Stella Smith.

Minister for Corrections, Youth Justice, Crime Prevention and
Victims Support Natalie Hutchins says, “I encourage all Victorians to use this new service from Crime Stoppers to help improve
safety in their communities. Language should never be a barrier to reporting crime. And we know being able to report crime confidentially is important to the community, as 70 percent of people who contact Crime Stoppers choose to remain anonymous.”

Oz Hindu priest’s passport impounded in ‘indecent sexual assault’ case

The priest coming out of the Frankston Magistrate court

By our legal reporter

Melbourne, 3 March: A Frankston court, Magistrate today ordered the Sri Lankan passport of a Hindu priest to be impounded and barred him from going near any airport in Australia. He was asked to deposit his passport within 24 hours at the Frankston police station. Premakanthan Rajaratnasarma, a priest at Melbourne’s Sri Shiva Vishnu temple, Carrum Downs is facing alleged Indecent Sexual Assault charges in relation to a woman of Indian origin. The court also granted him bail till March 15 when the case will be heard again.

Earlier, the case came up for’ mentioning’ and the ‘prosecution’ produced a devotee of the temple who gave evidence that there was a chance of the Hindu priest fleeing the country.
Premakanthan Rajaratnamsarma, was arrested last year on May 23 from his residence in the temple complex after complaints by an Indian origin woman of alleged indecent sexual assault. The Sri Lankan priest is working in the temple run by the Hindu Society of Victoria on a work contract.

In Australia, indecent assault is defined by law as any unwanted sexual behaviour or touching which is forced upon people against their will. The meaning of indecency depends upon prevailing views of what is unacceptable behaviour. This might include behaviour such as forcing someone to watch pornography or masturbation.

Each State has provisions which describe the crime of indecent assault, which require proof of an assault. Assault is legally defined as unlawful contact or an apprehension of unlawful contact. Consent is not a defence if the child is under 16.

The charges if proved are punishable by imprisonment.