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AFP throws its weight behind new criminal asset tracking plan


Australia will back Interpol’s move to unveil a new “silver notice” aimed at tracking criminal assets.

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Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw confirmed at a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday the international policing body was considering adding the notice to its suite of powers.

Interpol’s full range of notices includes red for tracking down a person for prosecution or to serve a sentence, and yellow to locate a missing person.

Kershaw said the silver notice would enhance criminal asset tracking and better support the exchange of intelligence about financial crime.

“Crime is borderless and so is the illicit money that underpins criminality … targeting the wealth of criminals is a key strategy of the AFP,” Kershaw said.

“In the past decade since its inception, the AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce has restrained more than $1.2 billion in criminal assets, including more than $500 million in property forfeited to the Commonwealth.”

Kershaw said he’d attended Interpol’s general assembly last month and held 25 bilateral meetings to strengthen relationships.

“The AFP is a key contributor to Interpol’s initiatives and operations and we support them in crime types such as counter terrorism, child exploitation and cybercrime. Our knowledge, skills and best practices are in regular demand from foreign law enforcement.”

He also stressed the importance of taking action on cybercrime, particularly its ability to enable child exploitation.

The AFP is spearheading the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre, which Kershaw said had seen 533 children removed from harm and 118 suspects charged since 2019.

“Some charges were laid against offenders in Australia, who from their lounge rooms directed online child sexual abuse,” he said.

“I need to be clear about what that means. For as little as $15, perpetrators around the world are communicating online with other perpetrators and paying them to assault children.”

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