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.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that up to 100,000 green turtles are killed and smuggled each year in the waters of Indonesia and Australia.

The turtles are considered a delicacy among the people of Bali.

In 2012, wildlife protection officials broke up 80 smuggling attempts where green turtles were being illegally brought into the island.

Back in the late 1970s, up to 30,000 green turtles were being killed and eaten in Bali.

(More illegal wildlife trade statistics.)

Source:  Luh De Suriyani, “Green turtle smuggling continues,” Jakarta Post, Bali Daily, January 21, 2013.

Between 2001 and 2012, at least 1,000 people have died by drowning in the waters between Indonesia and Australia as they were attempting to be smuggled into Australia to receive asylum.

Human smuggling activities is active in the waters off of Australia due to its asylum policy. In 2012, law enforcement officers in Australia broke up 65 human smuggling operations involving 2,900 people.

Source:  Peter Hirschberg, “Australia in Sri Lanka Talks to Curb People Smuggling, Carr Says,” Bloomberg, December 16, 2012.

The Government of Australia estimated in 2012 that over 10 percent of the timber that is imported into the country was illegal logged. Based on the value of Australia’s logging industry, the value of illegally logged timber in the country is worth $4.1 Billion (4 Billion Australian Dollars).

Source:  James Grubel and David Fogarty, “Australia passes illegal logging laws, joins EU, U.S.,” Reuters, November 20, 2012.


Firearms that are purchased in the United States are sold on the streets of Sydney, Australia for $15,493 (15,000 Australian Dollars).

Police in Australia believe that there are 10,000 handguns and about 250,0000 long arms circulating in Australia’s black market.

(See More Black Market AK-47 Prices)

Source:  AAP, “Gun smuggling linked to criminal gangs,” Australian, October 19, 2012.

Human smugglers based in Indonesia are able to earn between $1.02 Million (1 Million Australian) to $2.04 Million (2 Million AUD) per boat when charging people to be smuggled to Australia.

(See human smuggling fees)

Source:  Judith Ireland, “People smugglers not giving up, says Clare, Sydney Morning Herald, October 15, 2012.

Custom officials in Australia state that shipping containers full of black market cigarettes are smuggled into the country. A single 40-foot container is able to hold around 10 million cigarettes.  The cigarettes are purchased overseas for $622,000 yo $830,000 (600,000 to 800,000 Australian Dollars), and are sold in Australia’s black market at prices between $3.1 to $4.1 Million (3 to 4 Million AUD), creating a 4,900 percent profit margin.

Between 2008 and 2012, Custom officials in the country seized 924 tons of tobacco and 322 million cigarettes.

Source:  Renee Viellaris, “Criminals reap huge profits by importing illegal cigarettes,” Australian, September 30, 2012.

Security officials and agencies in Australia reported that it removed $104 Million (100 Million Australian Dollars) from the black market in 2011.

The money seized from organized crime groups in the country included $16.6 Million (16 Million Australian) in cash.

(More money laundering examples here.)

Source:  “Laundering crackdown nets $100m: AFP,” Nine News, July 20, 2012.

In the first six months of 2012, the Department of Immigration in Australia reported apprehending 1,340 people from Sri Lnaka who were attempting to claim asylum.The number of asylum seekers was almost five times the number of total people seized in 2011.

The Australian Navy seized between 6 to 7 boats that were attempting to smuggle people into the country.

Source:  Dinouk Colombage, “Human Smuggling On The Rise In 2012,” Sunday Leader, July 15, 2012.

Australia and New Zealand are reported to have the highest number of illegal drug use in the world, according to the 2012 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

According to criminal justice programs, people in Australia and New Zealand consume more cocaine and marijuana at a higher rate than any other country in the world. Between 9.1 and 14.6 percent of the population in the two countries use cannabis, compared to the global usage rate of 2.6 to 5.0 percent.

In New Zealand, the black market in marijuana generates $98 Million back in 2002.

The drug trade in Australia is estimated to be worth $5.5 Billion.

Source:  Paul Toohey, “Aussies the biggest recreational drug users in the world – report,” Herald Sun, June 27, 2012.

On average, authorities in Australia seize between 3,000 to 7,000 wildlife items that are being imported into the country. Many of the items were purchased on the Internet, and many of the customers did not know that the item was banned from being traded, according to officials.

For example, an item that is sold on the black market is an Australian Lizard, which is sold for $7,500 (7,500 Australian Dollars).

(Additional Exotic Animals for Sale Prices.)

The Australian Crime Commission has reported that organized crime syndicates are involved in the wildlife trafficking trade.

Source:  Kelmeny Fraser, “Crime bosses grow rich on smuggling Australian wildlife to foreign black markets for pets,” Courier Mail, June 17, 2012.