Classic cars seized by the CACT

Photo of classic cars seized by the CACT, provided on the AFP website


The AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) has restrained more than $160 million worth of illicit assets related to organised crime in 2022.

A recent media release highlights the CACT’s work throughout 2022.


Who is the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT)?

Established in 2011, the CACT brings together the collective resources and expertise of police officers, litigators, financial investigators, forensic accountants, and partner agency specialists across the AFP, ACIC, ATO, AUSTRAC, and the Australian Border Force.

The Commonwealth’s proceeds of crime laws allow the CACT to restrain both proceeds and instruments of crime based on a civil standard of proof, as well as obtain financial penalty and unexplained wealth orders, regardless of whether there exists a related criminal prosecution or investigation.

Significantly, the Commonwealth’s proceeds of crime laws also provide the CACT with strong information gathering and coercive examination powers, and an ability to restrain the assets of criminal groups without their prior knowledge.


Asset confiscations and related crimes in 2022

Throughout 2022, the CACT seized over $44 million in cash and other financial instruments, more than $108 million in property, over $2.5 million in jewellery, artwork and other valuables, and about $4.2 million in vehicles and other vessels.

The asset confiscations were related to drug crimes, money laundering, fraud, corruption, firearms trafficking and cybercrime offences.


Operational highlights

Operational highlights over the year included the CACT restraining:

  • Eight ACT properties, four high-end vehicles, luxury goods, cash and cryptocurrencies, totalling approximately $10 million, in an international money laundering investigation.
  • A warehouse full of classic cars, cash and gold bullion linked to a Sydney man sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment for importing 144 kilograms of cocaine.
  • Four Sydney properties, as well as funds in bank accounts, under the control of a person suspected of aiding and abetting importations of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $140 million.
  • Properties, luxury vehicles, cash and casino chips under the control of a man suspected of involvement in importing border-controlled drugs.
  • Properties controlled by a syndicate suspected of committing fraud against various Commonwealth measures which support the community, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • Cash, 13 properties, and other items with a combined value of approximately $23 million, linked to a money laundering organisation.
  • A Cessna 340 plane used by an organised crime syndicate to traffic firearms across state borders.


Diverting criminal wealth into the community

AFP National Manager for Criminal Assets Confiscation, Stefan Jerga, stated that “The CACT will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of criminal assets and diverting criminal wealth into initiatives that make our communities safer and stronger”.

Examples of programs funded by the confiscated assets include:

  • Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.
  • National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons.
  • ACIC Regional and remote wastewater testing pilot.
  • ThinkUKnow online child safety education program.


Key takeaways

The AFP and its Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) have demonstrated strong results throughout 2022 in ensuring that organised criminals do not enjoy their ill-gotten gains. Leveraging the Commonwealth’s proceeds of crime laws, the CACT has successfully restrained more than $160 million in criminal assets during the year, diverting funds into programs to support the community.

Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in complex cases involving asset confiscation and freezing orders.

Contact us if you require assistance.