Fighting Transnational Organised Crime

Transnational organised crime has a direct impact on Australia and the standards of living the community enjoys, whether through terrorism, drugs, offences against children or money laundering.

In 2017 the Australian Federal Police (AFP) published the report International Engagement 2020 and Beyond, which is the cornerstone of a strategy to protect Australia’s national security from transnational serious and organised crime and terrorism into the future.


What is international engagement?

International engagement is activity undertaken with foreign governments and foreign law enforcement partners to protect a country’s national interests.


Why is international engagement important for Australia?

Cyber or technology‑enabled crime, money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism are becoming increasingly transnational in nature, meaning that crimes against the Australian community can be committed by someone who is not physically present in Australia.

Terrorism has a global reach through the use of the internet and social media to recruit, radicalise and train people in attack methodologies and in some cases execute attacks. Increasing global reliance on the internet for commerce and communication exposes countries and organisations to cyber attacks.

As a result, many criminal investigations now involve overseas law enforcement bodies and require an ability to work on an international scale.

Statistics further supporting the need for international engagement:

Around 70% of Australia’s serious criminal targets live or have links overseas3

Fraud is said to cost Australia more than $6 billion each year7

Cybercrime costs more than $2 billion annually and with changing technologies and automation this will massively increase8

The global cost of crime is about $3 trillion and this will continue to grow11

120% increase in terrorism incidents globally since 201012

It is stated in the International Engagement 2020 and Beyond report that the purpose of AFP International Engagement is “to take the fight against crime offshore, and to protect Australians and Australia’s national interests by working in partnership with state, territory and foreign law enforcement agencies to detect, deter, prevent and disrupt crime at its point of origin or transit.”


Who does the AFP engage with?

  • Global law enforcement and intelligence: e.g. INTERPOL, Five Eyes and other International law enforcement partners
  • Global non-law enforcement: e.g. the UN and foreign governments
  • Other National law enforcement and intelligence: e.g. AUSTRAC, ACIC and State/Territory Police
  • National non-law enforcement: e.g. Australian Government, ATO, DFAT as well as other non-government organisations


Key takeaways

To effectively combat transnational organised crime, it is essential that the AFP manages international engagement in an organised, coordinated way with its onshore and offshore partners.



[3] Australian Crime Intelligence Commission (ACIC), The costs of serious and organised crime in Australia 2013–14, Canberra, 2015; Connery, David, Clare Murphy, Hayley Channer, A web of harms: serious and organised crime and its impact on Australian interests, ASPI, Canberra, 2015

[7] Russell G Smith, Penny Jorna, Josh Sweeney & Georgina Fuller, Counting the costs of crime in Australia: A 2011 estimate, AIC Reports Research and Public Policy Series 129, 2014, Canberra, Australia

[8] Norton, Cybercrime report, 2012; Attorney‑General’s Department, National plan to combat cyber crime, Canberra, 2013

[11] World Bank Group Report, Global economic perspectives: divergences and risks, June 2016

[12] Information provided by AFP Counter Terrorism 18 January 2017



Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in international and transnational criminal law cases. Our expertise includes dealing with the laws and processes surrounding anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption, extradition and mutual legal assistance, cybercrime, INTERPOL notices, international asset forfeiture and national security breaches.

Contact us if you require assistance.