What is the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)?
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) (“formerly Australian Crime Commission or ACC”) is the country’s national criminal intelligence agency with “specialist investigative capabilities”. The ACIC is the only agency in Australia that is exclusively focused on combating serious and organised crime.
The ACIC’s capabilities
The ACIC “specialist investigative capabilities” include:
- Collecting criminal intelligence from partner agencies and combining it to create a comprehensive national database.
- Utilising coercive powers (similar to a Royal Commission) to obtain information where traditional law enforcement methods have not been effective.
- Acquiring strategic intelligence products to support in decision-making, strategic targeting and policy development.
- Implementing a national target management framework to guide law enforcement in establishing and sharing organised crime priorities and targets. This is particularly useful for dealing with multi-jurisdictional serious and organised crime investigations.
What does the ACIC do?
In 2014-15, the ACIC achieved the following results:
- Seized more than $196 billion of illicit drugs
- Seized more than $175.7 million worth of precursor chemicals used in the making of illicit drugs
- Conduced 96 coercive examinations
- Produced 1469 intelligence products
- Disrupted 44 criminal groups
- Added 23 criminal targets to the National Criminal Target List
- Identified 112 money laundering entities
- Brought 539 charges against 190 people
- Convicted 45 people
- Restrained $238.89 million worth of assets
Investigation: Targeting criminal wealth
In 2014-15, one of the ACIC’s approved special investigations was “Targeting Criminal Wealth”, a special investigation approved until June 2016. The “Targeting Criminal Wealth” investigation is aimed to target money laundering, serious and organised superannuation and investment fraud, sophisticated tax evasion and confiscating criminal wealth.
As a part of this special investigation, the ACIC has conducted 50 coercive examinations aimed at investigating criminal activity and informing law enforcement, national security, regulatory and policy agencies around the country.
A coercive examination is a hearing or examination where the ACIC can call witnesses and compel them to answer questions and / or produce documents.
This investigation has also involved the ACIC seizing cash, assets and drugs and has also brought about a number of criminal charges and convictions.