New relationships were forged and existing relationships reaffirmed as the AFP hosted the first-ever Transnational Serious Organised Crime (TSOC) Global Summit in Sydney earlier this month.
The summit, which was held from 4 to 7 June, 2023, brought together senior law enforcement officers from 77 agencies representing 46 countries from around the globe.
AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw and Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus KC opened the three-day event and encouraged attendees to share operational strategies to strengthen the global takedown of TSOC.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Kirsty Schofield said the evolving and pervasive nature of TSOC meant it was vital global law enforcement agencies worked together to remain a step ahead.
“Transnational serious organised crime groups are corroding the values and safety of our countries,” Assistant Commissioner Schofield said.
“They manufacture and distribute illicit drugs on an industrial scale around the world, without regard for their impact on the communities they target, their way of life, or the integrity of public and private institutions.
“The downstream effects of illicit drug use are contributing to the road toll, family violence, child neglect and entrenched dysfunction in communities.
“The market for drugs in Australia is strong, especially methamphetamine and cocaine, which are the drugs of choice for cartels, Italian organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs to traffic around the globe.
“Transnational serious organised crime is a global menace that costs Australia $60 billion annually and disproportionally harms some of the world’s most vulnerable people who are victims of drug-related human trafficking and child sexual abuse.
Assistant Commissioner Schofield said global law enforcement agencies needed an integrated and agile response to TSOC to ensure they could inflict maximum damage on the criminal environment.
“The event presented the AFP with an opportunity to strengthen ties with law enforcement partners and gain an understanding of the TSOC challenges faced across the globe,” Assistant Commissioner Schofield said.
“The event highlighted the importance of maintaining close and collaborative partnerships to effectively disrupt the illicit drug trade and bolster the fight against transnational crime across the world.”
The AFP has more than 200 personnel located in 33 countries as part of its international network. AFP members posted offshore work in partnership with foreign law enforcement agencies to detect, deter, prevent and disrupt crime and harm at its source to ensure a safer Australia.