Criminal networks

Serious and organised criminals (SOC) are creative and bold in their exploitation of Australia and its people, and have no regard for the harm they cause. The heads of criminal networks are driven by greed, with all elements of their illicit business acting in service of maximising profits. These high-level criminals will go to great lengths to achieve their goals, regardless of traditional club or group ties or geographical boundaries.

SOC networks are increasingly transnational, supported by an expanding range of enablers and collaborate readily with those who can help them to maximise reach and profits.  

They rely on a range of skills to help conceal their activity and manage the profits of crime. Criminal networks exploit trusted insiders in Australian supply chains, leveraging their unique access and knowledge to evade detection by law enforcement and border security.

Professionals such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents are also wittingly or unwittingly used to apply their skills in masking complex criminal activities.

High-risk criminal targets pose a grave, enduring threat to Australia’s national security and prosperity. Australian Priority Organisation Targets (APOTs) and Regional Priority Organisation Targets (RPOTs) exert significant influence over Australia’s illicit commodity markets in all Australian states and territories. APOTs and RPOTs are involved in several criminal enterprises, including outlaw motorcycle gangs, cybercrime, money laundering and illicit drugs activities.

The ongoing threat presented by these targets underscores the importance of a nationally coordinated intelligence and investigative response. Only the most serious criminal networks and entities are identified as APOTs and RPOTs. This allows us to coordinate efforts to achieve maximum effect against the highest-risk serious and organised criminal threats impacting Australia.

We continually monitor and assess the criminal threats posed by existing targets and emerging criminal actors to determine whether they should be designated as APOTs or RPOTs.