Australia Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from the black market in Australia. Threat data and security information collected from intelligence and security agencies, news articles and other public information sources.

Surveillance by public health programs and criminal justice agencies indicate that 11 percent of all amphetamine and crystal meth users in China inject the drug.

In Cambodia, the rate of injection rate is 12 percent, and in Thailand the rate is 9 percent.

In Australia,where  3.4 percent of the population abuses amphetamine type stimulants, around 18 percent of the drug users inject the drugs.

Public health officials are concerned that the rising use of drug injections will lead to a rise in HIV infections.

(More methamphetamine facts.)

The Southeast Asia region has seen a rise in the trafficking and production of methamphetamine. The Australian National Council on Drugs reports that government security agencies believe that there are up to 12 large-scale meth manufacturing operations in the Golden Triangle area of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Back in 1999, security forces identified 300 clandestine laboratories in Southeast Asia that was producing meth. 10 years later, the number of labs increased to nearly 700.

(How much does a gram of meth cost?)

Source:  Sue Dunlevy, “Crystal meth drug Laboratories in South East Asia double,”, December 5, 2013.

During a ten year span, 15 people were convicted for human trafficking crimes in Australia, according to research conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

8 of the 15 were women.

The institute found that all of the women traffickers were born in the same foreign country as the victims and typically came from the same socio-economic status.

Based on reports from criminal justice programs in Australia, none of the people convicted for human trafficking had links to organized crime. The traffickers were generally small operations that relied upon business or family contacts to recruit victims.

In addition to human trafficking, these traffickers in Australia committed immigration fraud such as fake id cards and visa permits, as well as various money laundering activities.

(Price of human trafficking victims.)

Source:  Australian Associated Press, “Human traffickers are mostly women, Australian Institute of Criminology report finds,” Sydney Morning Herald, November 28, 2013.

Security services in Australia estimate that outlaw biker gangs generate up to $9 Billion (10 Billion Australian Dollars) in annual revenues each year through various racketeering methods. Bikies account for up to two thirds of the total organized crime revenue that is generated in Australia.

Over the past 10 years, the number of bikie gangs in Australia increased by nearly 50 percent, according to the Australian Crime Commission. There are now a total of 44 separate bike gangs that have 179 chapters across the country. A total of 4,483 members are involved with the gangs.

The largest bikie gang in Australia is the Rebels, which has 1,200 members. The most common industries where the Rebels make legitimate earnings and wash their money is in the construction, transport and retail industries. Although most of the Rebels members pay taxes, financial crimes officials state that many members have “unexplained wealth” that include luxury cars and boats, as well as complex financial arrangements such as trusts, partnerships and companies.

(More examples of racketeering by organized crime groups.)

Source:  “Financial crackdown on Australia’s $10 billion bikie gang economy,”, November 23, 2013.


The news program Four Corners in Australia reported that human smugglers sell passports and visa documents to Australia for $15,000 (16,000 AUD). The black market sellers claimed that a recent customer purchased a valid visa and passport issued by Bahrain, and was able to use the documents to board a plane to Australia.

The smugglers tell their customers to rip up the passport and visa on the plane before landing in Australia. Once on Australian soil, the person is able to apply for asylum.

(Additional prices of black market goods.)

Source: Sarah Ferguson, “People smugglers selling asylum seekers passports and visas for entry to Australia by plane,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, November 19, 2013.

According to a study conducted by KPMG, 1,433 tonnes of illegal tobacco was smuggled into Australia in 2013, an increase of 154 percent from the previous year.

13.3 percent of all tobacco sales in Australia were of black market cigarettes.

With taxes and fees included, people in Australia pay nearly $20 Australian dollars for a pack of cigarettes. In the South East Asia region, where many of the cigarettes are smuggled from, the packs of tobacco can cost as low as $1.08 AUD.

It was previously reported that the Australian Government losses up to $2.1 Billion a year due to cigarette smuggling.

Source:  Alan Howe, “Illicit tobacco funding gangs and increasing use,” News.Com.Au, November 3, 2013.

Statistics from the Australian Institute for Health, Welfare, Alcohol and other drug treatment services show that there has been an increase in the number of Australians over the age of 50 entering drug addition treatment programs.

Between the time span of 2004 to 2012, the rate of Australians over 50 receiving drug treatment for cocaine addiction increased by 247 percent.

Heroin rehab admissions increased by 138 percent.

The number of Australians between the age of 50 to 59 who received treatment for marijuana increased by 163 percent, and 231 percent for those over 60.

The biggest surge in drug treatment programs were for amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse. Australians between the age of 50 to 59 increased their treatment for amphetamine by 407 percent, and a 321 percent increase for those over 60.

(More marijuana prices.)

Source:  Jackie Sinnerton and Lisa Cornish, “Drug use spikes as baby boomers return to bad habits of their youth in 1960s, with amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin,”, OCtober 20, 2013.

Australia’s government lost up to $1.1 Billion in tobacco tax revenue in 2012 due to cigarette smuggling activities.

Security agencies in Australia 82 million black market cigarettes in 2011. In 2012, the number of illicit cigarettes increased to 122 million.

2.7 billion cigarettes were smoked in the country in 2012 that were purchased without the payment of taxes, or 11.3 percent of all cigarettes smoked. Most of the contraband cigarettes were either smuggled into Australia from China or South Korea or produced in homegrown tobacco shops.

Source:  Lily Kuo, “Australia lost $1.1 billion because of illegal cigarettes last year,” Quartz, October 2, 2013.

In 2010 to 2011, the number of people being treated for methamphetamine addiction in Victoria, Australia was reported to be 3,369.

In 2011 to 2013, the number of meth addicts seeking treatment increased to 4,886, an increase of 77 percent.

(More facts about meth addiction.)

The number of ambulance calls related to meth and amphetamines in Victoria also increased. In 2010-2011, there were 282 incidents where ambulances were dispatched for amphetamine-related causes. In 2011-2013, the number of incidents rose to 592.

(How much does meth cost per gram?)

Source:  Julia Medew, “Crystal meth probe as addiction grows,” Age, September 16, 2013.

People smugglers operating in Australia were charging asylum seekers up to $10,000 to be smuggled into Australia, according to reports from criminal justice programs.

In 2012, police identified 278 boats that was carrying  asylum seekers and operated by people smugglers. In the first six months of 2013, nearly 196 boats were identified by police.

Data from various criminal justice programs across the country found that most of the people paying smugglers to be brought into Australia originate from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

(Additional prices charged by human smugglers.)

Source:  “Arrests over people-smuggling in Australia,” Al Jazeera, August 29, 2013.

Between October 2001 and June 2012, the Australian Crime Commission reported that 964 people died while attempting to reach Australia for asylum purposes.

605 of the deaths occurred between October 2009 and June 2012.

A majority of the people who died who were attempting to reach Australia originated from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The number of people who have been seeking asylum by boat in Australia has been increasing each year. In 2008-2009, a reported 985 people landed in Australia. In 2009-2010, criminal justice programs reported 5,327 landings, which, dropped slightly to 4,750 in 2010-2011, and then doubled to 8,092 people in 2011-2012.

Source:  “People Smuggling Has Led To Almost 1,000 Deaths, Says Report,” Bernama, July 30, 2013.