The NSW Government will take another crucial step towards dismantling organised crime with new powers and tougher penalties targeting money laundering and unexplained wealth.

The reforms represent the State’s toughest ever laws targeting organised crime and will see NSW introduce world-leading legislation targeting the use of dedicated encrypted communication devices by criminals to avoid law enforcement.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the reforms were designed to strike organised crime networks at their financial base, stopping criminals from profiting from their actions and incapacitating them financially.

“Organised crime is all about drug supply and money – and to truly shut it down we need to shut down the flow of dollars that fuels it,” Mr Perrottet said.

“These reforms will better arm law enforcement with the powers they need to confiscate unexplained wealth and create new offences and tougher penalties for those seeking to launder money derived from criminal activity.

“Organised crime and the technologies that criminals use to operate are always changing and evolving, and these reforms will put our state in the strongest position to deal with these insidious crimes.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said these laws give police tough new powers to infiltrate organised criminal networks which increasingly rely on dedicated encrypted devices to avoid detection by law enforcement.

“We know these devices are being used to plan serious crimes like drugs and firearms smuggling, money laundering and even murder. These reforms will make it an offence to possess these kinds of devices and allow us to better target high-risk individuals from using them to orchestrate crime,” Mr Toole said.

“Organised crime in this State is on notice. If you think you can hide the ill-gotten gains of crime, you are wrong. If you think you can avoid detection by using encrypted devices, you are wrong.”

The reforms announced today include:

 New powers to confiscate unlawfully acquired assets of major convicted drug traffickers

 Enhanced powers to target and confiscate unexplained wealth from criminal gangs

 Expanded powers to stop and search for unexplained wealth and more effectively investigate organised crime

 New prohibition orders to target high-risk individuals likely to use dedicated encrypted devices to avoid law enforcement

Acting Commissioner David Hudson said the reforms would significantly assist police in the fight against organised crime. “Organised criminal networks and the technologies they use to coordinate their illegal activities are forever evolving,” Acting Commissioner Hudson said.

These networks go to great lengths to hide from the eyes of law enforcement, but we intend to use every power possible to fully investigate those suspected of serious crimes and put a stop to their activity.

“Today’s announcement will significantly increase our ability to target every element of these criminal networks – including the wealth and assets gained from their illegal activities – to keep the broader community safe.”

Legislation to underpin the new reforms will be introduced when NSW Parliament returns for the Spring session.

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