Friday, 24 January 2014

Australian organised crime bust exposes terror networks

More than $US512 million worth of drugs and assets were seized over 2013 in Australia as part of an ongoing anti-money laundering operation, Australian Crime Commission said on January 23, Xinhua reported...Operation Eligo disrupted several money laundering networks which have been linked to Lebanese militant organisation Hezbollah and other terrorist groups...Organised crime in Australia, as well as human traffickers, were also targeted in the operation...Worldwide authorities seize several billion dollars worth a year from terrorists, organised crime, and cartels...The operation’s impact on international money laundering networks will be difficult to gauge, but is unlikely to be great...There has been little progress in stemming the activity between terror groups since 9/11...The United States and Europe remain the largest sources of money laundering in the world, financial crime costing the United States $US7 trillion each year...Operation Eligo offers extra evidence of terror networks moving illicit money through the international system relatively easily...The specific mention of Hezbollah as beneficiaries is also notable because the group is attempting to position itself as a political, rather than militant, group...Experts explain that Hezbollah’s political wing should not be considered divorced from its militant wing...Although there is little incentive for financial institutions to be proactive in stopping money laundering, combating the practice will require greater cooperation between law enforcement, banking industry, and private business.

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