Transnational Serious & Organised Crime

The AFP combats Transnational Serious & Organised Crime (TSOC) by making the criminal environment hostile for TSOC to operate. This involves strategies to work on all aspects of the criminal drug business model.

Download: Transnational Serious & Organised Crime - fact sheet (PDF, 480KB)

What is TSOC?

Transnational Serious and Organised Crime includes some of the most serious crime threats impacting Australia.

  • Manufacture and trade of illicit commodities.
  • Illicit drugs on our streets destroying lives and communities.
  • Black market firearms fuelling criminal violence.
  • Massive money laundering operations distorting our financial markets.

TSOC is well established, financed and has integrated global networks. Some 70% of Australia’s serious and organised crime threats are based offshore or have strong offshore links, but the impacts of TSOC are felt locally. The destructive, pervasive and complex nature of TSOC touches the lives of all Australians.

Protecting Australians and Australia's interests against TSOC is critical. As the environment changes and criminals adapt, so too must our operational response.

Who we are fighting

  • Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGs): Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs control much of Australia's drug trade
  • Organised Crime Syndicates: Organised crime groups including the mafia and mob groups also pose a significant threat
  • Enablers: The drug business model relies on enablers in trusted positions who engage in corrupt business practices
  • Money laundering: Money laundering organisations concealing the source of their wealth is a key part of the business model for TSOC

What is our focus

  • Finances
  • Communications
  • Operations and logistics

The AFP is the only agency in Australia that takes action across the spectrum of the drug business model, from operations to logistics, finances and communications. We influence and impact the drug supply onshore and offshore from the point of origin to when it hits our streets in Australia.

How we do it

We do this through the application of AFP and partner capabilities:

  • International Network: The AFP's international network allows us to leverage our reputation and work with international partners to counter these threats before they reach Australian shores
  • Intelligence, physical and technical surveillance collection: Managing and exploiting intelligence to provide key insights and place our actions where it will have the most impact
  • Undercover, human sources and witness protection: There are a range of covert operations that enable the crucial work of combatting TSOC
  • Forensics: Forensics support provides information on the quality and origin of drugs and chemicals
  • Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT): CACT provides a coordinated and integrated approach to identifying and removing the profits derived from serious and organised criminal activity
  • Disruption and investigation: Creating a hostile environment, and undertaking comprehensive investigations and joint operations both domestically and internationally

Success story: Special Operation IRONSIDE

Special Operation IRONSIDE is a recent AFP and partner success story in the fight against TSOC. Ironside was a long-term, covert investigation where for almost three years, the AFP and the FBI monitored criminals’ encrypted communications over a Dedicated Encrypted Communications Platform.

The AFP built a capability that allowed law enforcement to access, decrypt and read communications on the ANØM platform, uncovering alleged crimes including large drug imports, drug manufacturing and attempts to kill.

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

Policing and community news from the AFP