The Morrison and Marshall Governments have taken a significant step to expand the National Cooperative Scheme on Unexplained Wealth, with South Australia signing on as a member of the scheme.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the scheme enhances the ability of law enforcement agencies to trace, identify and seize assets that cannot be connected to a lawful source.
“Modern criminal networks operate as global businesses, committing heinous acts to maximise, disguise and maintain illicit cash flows,” Minister Andrews said.
“Crime doesn’t respect borders, which is why we are working together with states and territories to make sure that jurisdiction is not a factor in combatting unexplained wealth.”
SA Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said this will strengthen South Australia’s capacity to support the confiscation of unexplained wealth and allow the State to share in the assets seized in cross border stings.
“It is critically important that we strip criminal syndicates of the proceeds of crime and reduce their influence,” Attorney-General Chapman said.
“I am confident that this collaboration will see more illegal operations stymied, with South Australia to reap the rewards of successful investigations.”
The scheme allows Commonwealth unexplained wealth orders to be used where a person or property can be linked to a broader range of state and territory offences. It also allows participating jurisdictions to access powerful investigative tools and grants them preferential treatment in the distribution of seized assets.
South Australia joins the Australian, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory governments as members of the scheme.