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Crime types

Organised crime is now a part of the everyday lives of Australians in unprecedented ways. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) conservatively estimates organised crime costs Australia $36 billion annually. 

We create a national intelligence picture of crime, target serious and organised crime, and deliver information capability and services to frontline policing and law enforcement. We also work closely with the Australian Institute of Criminology to build an evidence base to inform policy and practice for addressing crime in Australia, through crime and justice research.

In this way, we are helping to make Australia safer by improving national ability to connect, discover, understand and respond to crime and criminal justice issues impacting Australia.

Illicit drugs

The illicit drug market is the principle source of profit for organised crime.

For more information, see the Illicit drugs page.


Fraud can be categorised by its type or the industry where it occurs. The main forms include superannuation fraud, mass marketed fraud, revenue and taxation fraud, financial market fraud, card fraud and identity fraud.

For more information, see the Fraud page.

Financial crimes

Financial crimes include activities ranging from fraud through to the active manipulation of the stock market, or laundering proceeds of crime.

For more information, see the Financial crimes page.

Illicit firearms

Illicit firearms are used to aid criminal activity and strengthen an organised crime group’s market position.

For more information, see the Illicit firearms page.

Money laundering

Money laundering is the process criminals use to conceal their illicit profits and try to avoid being prosecuted, convicted and having their proceeds of crime confiscated.

For more information, see the Money laundering page.


Cybercrime takes two forms: crimes where computers or other information communications technologies are an integral part of an offence (such as online fraud); and crimes directed at computers or other technologies (such as hacking).

For more information, see the Cybercrime page

Identity crime

Identity crime takes many forms, including the theft of personal identity information (including financial information), assuming another person’s identity for fraudulent purposes, and producing false identities and financial documents to enable other crimes.

For more information, see the Identity crime page.

Exploitation of business structures

The criminal exploitation of business structures involves the use of unlawful business practices, and both simple and complex business structures, to conceal the criminal infiltration of an industry.

For more information, see the Exploitation of business structures page.

Public sector corruption

Public sector corruption refers to the misuse of public power or position with an expectation of undue private gain or advantage, for self or others. It may include bribery, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, trading in influence, or perverting the course of justice.

For more information, see the Public sector corruption page.


Organised criminals may use violence to ‘warn off’ competitors in criminal markets, retaliate for previous violent acts or for failure to supply goods, as stand-over tactics, for internal group discipline, to maintain ‘honour’ or status, and as extortion to gain money or access to other business activities.

For more information, see the Violence page.

Last updated
16 July 2018