Political feud to save bikies
BIKIES and organised crime bosses are amassing hundreds of millions of dollars in unexplained wealth by operating across state borders because Malcolm Turnbull can’t convince Labor governments to sign up to a national scheme to confiscate dirty cash.
The federal Government has been locked in talks with state and territory governments for the past five years, trying to convince them to agree on a national unexplained wealth strategy to prevent crooks hiding their assets across state borders.
After Labor’s state election win, Western Australia became the latest to refuse to take part in negotiations over concerns they will miss out on their share of confiscated cash.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the rogue states risked becoming “havens for criminal assets” who will hide their riches in jurisdictions that refuse to sign up.
The Sunday Telegraph understands the federal Government is close to finalising “referral legislation”, which needs to be passed by just one state government to trigger the scheme. The Turnbull Government hopes NSW will pass the Bill later this year.
But senior members of the Australian Federal Police are privately frustrated by delays to the national scheme, which was to begin in 2016.
Mr Keenan said the commonwealth, states and territories need to work together because “criminals do not respect borders”.