ASIAN ORGANISED CRIME IN AUSTRALIA - A Discussion Paper by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority

A Discussion Paper by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority
February 1995

Contact Address:
The Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority,
Parliament House,
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 2600,

phone 06 277 3565; fax 06 277 5866

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© Commonwealth of Australia
ISBN of the printed version 0 642 22448 X


* Duties of the Committee

* 1. Purpose of the Discussion Paper
* 2. Unnecessary Secrecy
* 3. Asian Organised Crime - Definitions
* 4. Chinese Organised Crime in Australia
o Scope of Criminal Activity
o Drug Trafficking Activities
o Triad Societies and Chinese Organised Crime
o Approach of the Law Enforcement Review Report
o Geographic Spread within Australia
o Cooperation with Other Criminal Groups
o Hong Kong's Reversion to Chinese Rule in 1997
* 5. Vietnamese Organised Crime in Australia
o Introduction
o Drug Trafficking Activities
o Street Gangs, Extortion and 'Home Invasions'
* 6. Japanese Organised Crime in Australia
o History and Characteristics of the Yakuza
o Extent of Activities in Australia
o How Real is the Threat from the Yakuza?
* 7. NCA Activities in Relation to Asian Organised Crime


(as at February 1995)

* Mr P.R. Cleeland, MP for McEwen, Victoria (ALP), Chairman
* Senator A.E. Vanstone, South Australia (Lib.), Deputy Chairman
* Hon M. J. Duffy, MP for Holt, Victoria (ALP)
* Mr P.A. Filing, MP for Moore, Western Australia (Lib.)
* Senator G.N. Jones, Queensland (ALP)
* Senator S. Loosley, New South Wales (ALP)
* Mr H.V. Quick, MP for Franklin, Tasmania (ALP)
* Senator S. Spindler, Victoria (Aust. Dem.)
* Senator J.M. Troeth, Victoria (Lib.)
* Mr M.A. Vaile, MP for Lyne, New South Wales (Nat.)

Duties of the Committee

The National Crime Authority Act 1984, section 55 provides:

(1) The duties of the Committee are:

(a) to monitor and to review the performance by the Authority of its functions;
(b) to report to both Houses of the Parliament, with such comments as it thinks fit, upon any matter appertaining to the Authority or connected with the performance of its functions to which, in the opinion of the Committee, the attention of the Parliament should be directed;
(c) to examine each annual report of the Authority and report to the Parliament on any matter appearing in, or arising out of, any such annual report;
(d) to examine trends and changes in criminal activities, practices and methods and report to both Houses of the Parliament any change which the Committee thinks desirable to the functions, structure, powers and procedures of the Authority; and
(e) to inquire into any question in connection with its duties which is referred to it by either House of the Parliament, and to report to that House upon that question.

(2) Nothing in this Part authorizes the Committee:

(a) to investigate a matter relating to a relevant criminal activity; or
(b) to reconsider the findings of the Authority in relation to a particular investigation.
Asian Organised Crime in Australia
1. Purpose of the Discussion Paper

1.1 The main aim of this discussion paper is to provide information to the Parliament and the community about the nature and extent of Asian organised crime in Australia. The Committee also wishes to use the opportunity offered by publication of this paper to make some general observations about what it regards as unnecessary secrecy on the part of Australian law enforcement agencies with information about organised criminal activity.

1.2 The Committee's focus on Asian organised crime reflects the considerable community interest in the topic. This interest was heightened by the murder in September 1994 of Mr John Newman, the member for Cabramatta in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. He had been prominent in campaigning against the problem of crime, some of it organised and heroin-related, in his electorate, which has a high proportion of people of Asian origin. As a result of his murder, considerable public attention was given to the question of Asian organised crime.

1.3 The Committee's discussion paper has been compiled from information available to the Committee in the ordinary course of its activities. It is not the product of consultation with community groups, the National Crime Authority, or others interested in the subject. The Committee would welcome comments on and responses to the paper.
2. Unnecessary Secrecy

2.1 The Committee accepts that much of the information held by Australian law enforcement agencies must remain confidential. This includes much information about specific current investigations, operational methods and intelligence, about matters before the courts, and about matters affecting the personal safety and privacy of individuals. However, the Committee believes that there is other, more general, information held by Australian law enforcement agencies about organised criminal activity that could and should be made public, but which the agencies regard, by and large, as confidential.

2.2 For example, the Committee has seen intelligence assessments produced by the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence (ABCI) that are marked 'Police Protected' and contain instructions that the contents are not to be disseminated without the written consent of the ABCI Director. Yet the Committee can see nothing in the contents of the assessments that, in the Committee's view, would prevent them being available to the public. The Committee considers that a better-informed public debate would result if such assessments were available to the public.

2.3 The Committee is not singling out the ABCI, or, for that matter, the National Crime Authority. note#1 Rather it is concerned about over-secretiveness on the part of Australian agencies in general. The Committee has had access over the years to 'confidential' papers produced by Australian law enforcement agencies or individuals within those agencies. Often they have been produced for seminars and conferences which are closed to the public and the media. There is often nothing in these papers which would, in the Committee's view, require their contents to be kept confidential.

2.4 In the Committee's view, the amount of information provided publicly by Australian agencies contrasts unfavourably with that provided in some overseas countries. The depth of publicly-available information available in the United States on Asian organised crime will be apparent from material quoted and referred to in later parts of this discussion paper. In the United Kingdom, the National Criminal Intelligence Service in 1993 made available an assessment of the impact of organised crime, though it was a brief and sketchy document. note#2 An assessment of the involvement of organised crime in drug trafficking was produced in 1992 for the European Parliament. note#3

2.5 In Canada in recent years the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has published an annual report on organised crime. The report gives an overview of the extent of organised criminal activity in Canada and highlights significant events during the year. It is based on information provided by the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada.

2.6 There is no Australian equivalent to this Canadian report. The Committee acknowledges that the February 1994 Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements contained a chapter entitled 'An Assessment of the Changing Nature of Major and Organised Crime in Australia'. The Committee has found this chapter useful, and quotes extracts from it below. But this report was a one-off exercise, and the chapter on organised crime was in a sense a by-product of the main purpose of the report.

2.7 In the Committee's view the Australian public are entitled to be given more information about the extent of organised criminal activity in Australia. Such information will contribute to a more informed debate about how much the community needs to spend on law enforcement efforts to combat such activity, and to assessing the effectiveness of the agencies charged with that task.

2.8 The Committee considers that there is a second reason why the Australian public should be better informed. Organised crime is successful to some extent because of the fear that it engenders. Popular beliefs exist in 'organised crime' and its power, its willingness to use violence and its ability to corrupt police and other public officials. Such beliefs are partly based on fact but are also fostered by films, novels and sensationalised media reporting. As a result, criminals can trade on public ignorance of the true situation. By falsely claiming to be mafioso, triads, or the like, or by falsely claiming that such an organisation exists, ordinary criminals may be able to intimidate members of the public from reporting their activities to the police or appearing in court proceedings against them. Protection rackets and extortion are facilitated if the victims believe that violent retaliation from the organisation is inevitable should they inform on the perpetrators. Yet in some cases the organisation simply does not exist, and the criminal is benefiting from a false public perception.

2.9 Unwarranted fears of this sort may make the task of law enforcement much harder. More readily available, accurate, public information will prevent unnecessary fears from impeding the work of law enforcement. This in turn will make successful prosecution of relatively unorganised, opportunist, criminals easier. The law enforcement resources thereby saved can then be directed at the organised criminal activity that genuinely does exist.

3. Asian Organised Crime - Definitions

3.1 The words 'Asian', 'organised' and 'crime' each require a brief comment in order to explain the scope of the remainder of this discussion paper.

3.2 The discussion paper deals with the three ethnically-based groupings commonly regarded as making up the 'Asian' organised crime of interest to Australian law enforcement agencies:

* the various Chinese groups, sometimes referred to as the triads;
* the Vietnamese groups;
* and the Japanese groups, generally referred to as the yakuza or boryokudan.

3.3 The Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements recommended that the NCA have 'a strategic and/or coordination role' in respect of eleven matters, three of which were 'Chinese Triad Societies', 'Vietnamese organised crime groups', and 'Yakuza groups' (para. 7.50(4)). The Government has accepted this recommendation.

3.4 The Committee recognises that the vast majority of the ethnic communities referred to are not involved in organised, or indeed any, criminal activity. In using ethnicity as a defining factor, the Committee is following the well-established practice of law enforcement agencies both in Australia and overseas. In the view of these agencies, the particular criminal organisations use membership of the relevant ethnic group as a key factor in determining who is allowed to participate, especially at the more senior levels or in taking the major roles in particular crimes. Ethnic group membership is sometimes seen as a key factor enabling ethnic-group organised crime to be more successful than other groups. note#4 It is a matter for debate, however, whether the ethnic factor is sometimes overstated in the context of 'Asian organised crime' in Australia.

3.5 Russian organised crime has attracted a great deal of media interest since the break-up of the Soviet Union. However, it is not covered in this discussion paper, mainly because it is not conventionally considered as 'Asian'. Moreover, there is, it seems, little evidence that it has established any Australian presence so far. Only one significant case appears to have been reported, the one in 1993 by the Australian Federal Police (AFP): note#5

In January 1993, the AFP provided ACS [Australian Customs Service] with information which led to the targeting of Russian ships visiting Melbourne. As a result, a Russian seaman was arrested as he left the dock area in possession of 5.5kg of heroin and l50g of cannabis resin. Further inquiries resulted in the arrest of two alleged principals in Melbourne. This operation was the culmination of several years investigation and resulted in the identification of alleged syndicate members in the former Soviet Union and Australia. AFP members have travelled to Russia and as a result liaison has been established with the Russian police authorities.

3.6 However, by omitting consideration of Russian organised crime from this discussion paper, the Committee is not taking issue with the view that Australian agencies must remain alert to the real possibility that Russian-based criminal groups may target Australia. The Committee notes that the Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements recommended that the NCA have 'a strategic and/or coordination role' in respect of, amongst other groups, 'Eastern Block Organised Crime Groups', and that the Government has accepted this recommendation

3.7 Although geographically part of Asia, the Lebanon is not normally considered 'Asian' in the context of discussion of Asian organised crime. Hence, the Committee's discussion paper does not cover the activities of organised Lebanese criminal groups in Australia, although the Committee notes that such groups have for many years been involved in drug trafficking into Australia. note#6

3.8 Organised crime groups of ethnic Koreans reportedly exist in the United States, note#7 but there is nothing that the Committee is aware of to suggest they have established any presence in Australia.

3.9 The question of how best to define the term 'organised crime' has caused much debate over the years. note#8 For the purposes of this discussion paper, the Committee does not consider it necessary to enter into this debate or to define organised crime in any rigorous way. The following definition used by the NCA will serve: 'For the purpose of describing the broader criminal environment, the NCA defines organised crime as a systematic and continuing conspiracy to commit serious offences'. note#9

3.10 The Committee recognises, however, that an important issue in assessing the threat from, and the impact of, Asian organised crime in Australia is the degree to which it is organised. One of the suggestions made in this discussion paper is that Asian organised crime, as it impacts on Australia at least, is considerably less organised than might be thought from an uncritical reading of media reports. The Committee considers that the following observation made in 1989 by Dr Grant Wardlaw is pertinent in this context:

It seems that one problem we have is that we may often confuse criminal organisation or sophistication with organised crime. As society becomes more complex and as technologies open the way to new crimes or more sophisticated or larger scale ways of committing old ones, so the nature of crime is changing with the result that it is, almost by definition, becoming more organised. Looked at this way, most major crime will eventually become organised crime. Surely this is not what we mean when we speak of organised crime though, and use its existence to justify the creation of new investigative agencies and the legislating of new powers? Nevertheless, it seems to me that many of the cases, particularly in the drug trafficking field, which are cited as evidence of the grip of organised crime are evidence of nothing more than organisation and (rarely) sophistication. To be sure, this constitutes a serious law enforcement problem, but one which does not carry the sinister implications of being 'organised crime'. note#10

4. Chinese Organised Crime in Australia
Scope of Criminal Activity

4.1 The attention of Australian law enforcement agencies has focused on Chinese organised criminal activity in relation to a wide range of matters, including drug importation and distribution, illegal gambling, illegal prostitution, extortion, immigration malpractice and money laundering. A relatively new area in which organised ethnic-Chinese are believed to be prominent is sophisticated credit card fraud. note#11 There appears to be no solid evidence of significant organised, ethnic-Chinese, street gang activity, although it is difficult to be sure as there are many media reports that refer simply to 'Asian' gangs. note#12

4.2 The priority interest of Australian agencies has been in relation to organised, ethnic-Chinese, involvement in heroin trafficking into Australia from south-east Asia.
Drug Trafficking Activities

4.3 A 1991 assessment for the Commonwealth Government stated:

In terms of what might be termed 'mainstream' importation of heroin to meet Australian market demand, the principal source region (in terms of regularity of supply) is South-East Asia. This statement is not intended to diminish the importance and threat from other regions; a significant amount of heroin is known to be sourced from South-West Asia and the Middle East (even though seizure results indicate that these areas are responsible for 5 to 10 per cent of overall supply, some enforcement authorities estimate that the real order of magnitude is much higher than this). The assertion concerning South-East Asia as the principal source of heroin supply is persuasively based on both the consistent intelligence reporting on criminal activities and in the investigative outcomes of successful seizures of heroin. note#13

4.4 Others agree on the importance of south-east Asia as a source of the heroin arriving in Australia. The Report of the New South Wales Crime Commission for the year ended 30 June 1993, for example, stated on page 16 that 'the large importations mainly originate in China and South East Asia'. More recently, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) stated: 'Some 80% of the heroin seized in Australia can be sourced to the Golden Triangle' note#14 - that is, to the area in south-east Asia where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet.

4.5 Australian law enforcement agencies believe that ethnic Chinese have been for many years, and still are, the major organisers of heroin imports into Australia. A 1988 media report cited the National Crime Authority's Chinese liaison officer as saying that the Chinese had been linked to every major seizure of heroin in the previous two financial years, totalling 63 kg, and that an estimated 96 per cent of those cargoes seized had been triad-related. note#15

4.6 A 1991 assessment stated: 'The AFP and others estimate that Chinese crime groups are responsible for the importation of perhaps 80 per cent of all heroin being imported into Australia'. note#16 According to a media report based on a leaked 1992 national intelligence assessment, 85 to 90 per cent of heroin imports into Australia were organised by Chinese organised crime groups. note#17 The NSW Crime Commission reported in 1993: 'Essentially, heroin importation is largely controlled by persons of Chinese origin in Australia and overseas'. note#18 The AFP said in 1994 that:

Stability in the price of heroin and its quality in Australia indicate the importation of heroin into Australia is well organised and dominated by Chinese Organised Crime groups. Heroin is routed through Bangkok, the Malay Peninsula, Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China. note#19

4.7 Ethnic-Chinese are much less dominant in the distribution of heroin once it has been imported. The NSW Crime Commission reported in 1992 on organised heroin trafficking:

Some groups are concentrated at certain levels. Thus it has been observed that the highest stratum is often occupied by persons of Chinese origin who tend to be responsible for the introduction of much heroin to Australia and conduct the largest bulk transactions. It is unusual to find persons of Chinese origin in a supply stratum involving small quantities. The pattern is less consistent with other groups which will buy bulk locally and also engage in importation. Their associates within a group may occupy a range of levels in the supply chain and they will deal with groups which dominate particular levels such as the Chinese groups. note#20

4.8 A 1991 intelligence assessment stated:

One feature of heroin trafficking arrangements in Australia that reinforces the notion of an accommodation between operators, is that the majority of the importation efforts of the Chinese criminal groups is geared towards supplying other, non-Chinese, groups for their own distribution networks. The Chinese operate what is largely a heroin wholesale business, with little evidence of their further involvement downstream into retail distribution. note#21

Triad Societies and Chinese Organised Crime

4.9 In much popular discussion, Chinese organised crime is treated as synonymous with the triad societies, although the importance of the connection between the two is a matter for some debate. The following description of the triads is taken in edited form from a 1992 report of a United States Senate subcommittee: note#22

Modern triads trace their history to secret political societies formed in China during the 17th Century to overthrow the Ching Dynasty and to restore the Ming Dynasty to power. The term 'triad', later coined by British authorities in Hong Kong, is based on the triangular symbol found on flags and banners of the early secret societies. The symbol represents the three essential elements of heaven, earth, and man.

Because the early triads were attempting to topple the ruling elements of the day, and had, in fact, been persecuted in the past they developed secret forms of identification and communication. Triads today remain obsessively secretive and closed criminal fraternities. The triads also developed highly ritualized initiation ceremonies meant to instill a strong sense of secrecy, and more importantly, loyalty to other triad members. ...

The existence of triads is most extensively documented in Hong Kong, where the number of triad members is estimated to be in the tens of thousands, and to a lesser extent in Taiwan. ...

Triad societies all display some degree of hierarchy, and a typical triad has members organized by rank. Each rank carries a title and a numerical value, based on triad ritual. The leader of a triad is known as the 'Dragon Head,' and carries the rank '489'. Other 'office bearer' positions also exist, including '438', which is the second highest rank in a triad, and may be held by several different officials. ... other triad members are known as ordinary members or soldiers, and hold the rank of '49'. The relationships among individual triad members are based on ties between 'Dai-Lo's' (big brothers) and 'Sai-Lo's' (little brothers), where the Sai-Lo's give loyalty, support and sometimes money to their Dai-Lo, in exchange for protection and advice.

Although hierarchical in nature, triads tend not to be strictly controlled from the top, in contrast to more familiar crime groups such as La Cosa Nostra. Instead, triad members frequently branch out into their own criminal enterprises. While the triad leadership does not always initiate and direct the activities of all the triad members, triads clearly serve as international networking associations that facilitate such activity. Moreover, monetary profits from criminal activity of triad members often flow to the top in indirect ways, such as through gifts. ...

As one member of the Hong Kong-based 14K triad testified:

"I was not required to pay any percentage of profits to the 14K leadership. Triads do not work that way. Triad members do favors for each other, provide introductions and assistance to each other, engage in criminal schemes with one another, but triads generally do not have the kind of strictly disciplined organizational structure that other criminal groups like the Italian mafia have. For example, a triad member would not necessarily be required to get permission from the dragonhead of his particular triad in order to engage in a particular criminal undertaking - even if the particular deal involved an outsider or even a member of another triad. On the other hand, on the occasion of traditional Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year, triad members traditionally give gifts to their 'big brother' or 'uncles' who often are office bearers in the triads."

Further testimony regarding relationships among Chinese crime groups came from Johnny Kon, a convicted heroin smuggler and triad member. He noted the importance of the Chinese concept of 'Guan Shi' in facilitating criminal relationships:

"Members of the Big Circle get power from 'Guan Shi' which is a relationship among people. Through such relationships, Big Circle members can call on triad members or other Big Circle members for help."

Triad membership is thus a valuable asset to the new international criminal. Triad membership facilitates criminal activities in a manner similar to the way membership in business associations facilitates the activities of a legitimate businessman. Thus, even though triads, as organizations, may not control a wide range of criminal activity, it is important for law enforcement officials to understand, investigate, and develop intelligence about triad organizations, because individual triad members are invariably involved in a wide range of criminal activity.

Although the criminal activities of triad members can be thought of as constituting both domestic and international activities, even domestic activities such as illegal gambling, extortion, and prostitution often have an international element. For example, prostitutes are imported or smuggled, sometimes against their will, over national borders, while proceeds from illegal domestic activities such as gambling are often laundered internationally. International activities include narcotics trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting currency and credit cards, and alien smuggling. ...

The RHKP [Royal Hong Kong Police] estimate that there are currently about 50 triad societies in Hong Kong, with about 15 of those being very active. While it is very difficult to determine the exact number of triad members in Hong Kong, most authorities agree that there are at least 80,000. Some triads are thought to have as little as 100 members while Hong Kong's largest triad, the Sun Yee On, is believed to have at least 25,000 members.

After the Sun Yee On, the next largest triads are the Wo Group, including the Wo Hop To and at least nine other subgroups, which have over 20,000 Hong Kong members. The 14K Triad, including over 30 subgroups, is also believed to have over 20,000 Hong Kong members. The fourth largest group is the Luen Group with approximately 8,000 Hong Kong members. The Tung Group is thought to have approximately 3,000 Hong Kong members. All of these groups also have substantial overseas membership. Other triads exist with smaller membership. ...

The Big Circle Gang, which is sometimes referred to as a 'Mainland-based triad' is a relatively new group. This group initially consisted primarily of former Red Army Guards who left China for Hong Kong. Big Circle Gang members are particularly violent, specializing in armed robberies of jewelry stores in Hong Kong as well as in heroin trafficking. The Big Circle Gang is not technically a triad, but most Big Circle Gang members are also members of various triad societies. Johnny Kon, a former Big Circle associate and convicted heroin smuggler, testified that he helped organize a group of Big Circle Gang members into a tightly organized and disciplined group known as the Flaming Eagles which expanded from jewelry store robberies in Hong Kong to a world wide heroin distribution network. All of Kon's Big Circle associates were also members of other triads. ...

The main law enforcement body in Taiwan, the National Police Administration (NPA), recognizes two major Taiwan-based triads. The best known and largest of the two is the United Bamboo Gang, also known as the Chu Lien Pang. The second group is the Four Seas Gang, also known as Sei Hoi.

The United Bamboo Gang has an estimated membership of over 20,000. ... The Four Seas Gang has an estimated membership of over 5,000.

4.10 The Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency told a United States Senate committee in April 1994:

These triads are fluid associations of criminals and quasi-legitimate businessmen based on contact networks and cultural, geographic and linguistic ties. ... The triads play an important role in worldwide heroin trafficking by facilitating transport and by providing a network of contacts for triad affiliated smugglers. They play a particularly important role in moving heroin through transshipment hubs, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, due to their influence over transportation unions and over shipping companies. note#23

4.11 Criminal triad societies of a sort are said to exist in Australia, even if they lack some of the characteristics of the traditional Hong Kong triad societies. The National Crime Authority's then Chairperson, Justice Stewart, said in 1988:

Broadly speaking, the Authority's investigations confirm earlier assessments that Chinese criminal elements in Australia have formed criminal associations, modelled to some extent on the traditional Chinese Triad secret societies such as exist in Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia. These groups involve themselves in a wide range of criminal activities such as drug importation and distribution, extortion, fraud and money laundering.

There is no real evidence that these associations follow Triad initiation ceremonies or other rituals, or adopt a strict internal hierarchy. There is evidence however that members of well known Triad societies are resident in Australia and overseas members visit here from time to time for illegal purposes.

The power of individuals in these Australian Triad groups seems to be based on accumulated wealth, connections or demonstrated capacity for criminal enterprise rather than on traditional Triad power bases. Many of these people move with comparative ease between Australia, Hong Kong and elsewhere in South East Asia. note#24

4.12 In 1988, Mr Peter Lamb, at the time an AFP Assistant Commissioner, said that there were 'between three and ten' triad societies then operating in Australia. note#25 Media reports in 1988 claimed that Australian triad societies had perhaps 2,000 members. note#26 A 1989 report claimed that the 14K triad 'is well organised and well entrenched in Sydney, with offshoots in Melbourne'. note#27 In June 1991 a former NCA officer, Mr Carmel Chow, said: 'We are looking at maybe half a dozen triad groups in Sydney. We are talking about the Sun Yee On, the 14K, the Wo Yee Tong, the Big Circle. So really, we have half a dozen gangs now operating in Sydney.' note#28

4.13 The buyer of a 1988 importation into Sydney of 31 kg of heroin was (John) Chai Nam Yung, who was sentenced in March 1991 to 24 years' imprisonment for his part in the deal. He was described as the head of the Australian branch of the Wo Yee Tong triad, as well as being the owner of an illegal Sydney gambling club. note#29 A media follow-up story on the case said that 'Police sources here estimate that no more than half-a-dozen of these triad cells are operating in Australia, with an estimated membership of between 2000 and 3000' and that 'the majority of triad activity is centred on Sydney'. note#30 A 1992 internal report by the Asian division of the Victoria Police reportedly stated that there were known to be triads based in Melbourne and referred to members from triad groups such as the 14K, Sun Yee On, Wo Yee Tong and Wo Shing Wo. note#31

4.14 A 1992 United States report stated that the Sun Yee On triad has 'a presence' in several countries including Australia, the Wo Hop To triad 'has been tied to criminal activity' in Australia, and the Big Circle Gang 'has gained a foothold' in Australia. note#32 More recent reports from United States sources state that the 14K triad group and the Sun Yee On triad have a foothold in Australia. note#33 In September 1994, a member of the Victoria Police Asian crime squad told a court that the Sun Yee On triad had become more active in Melbourne in the previous year. note#34

4.15 The February 1994 Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements stated (para. 4.49):

Within Australia, it is apparent that several Triad societies do exist. As in Hong Kong, they provide a local pool of contacts for criminal ventures. Moreover, Australian residents who were Triad members in Hong Kong or other foreign countries have immediate access to a range of colleagues overseas who may be prepared to assist with criminal activities. There have been claims that certain Triad groups in Australia have operated as organisations when establishing gambling and protection rackets, but it is also possible that the criminals concerned were using a Triad's name for their own benefit and were acting outside the organisation.

4.16 As noted in paragraph 2.8 above, as long as people believe in the existence of powerful triad groups, they will be reluctant to resist the demands of those claiming to be triad members, or to inform police of their activities. This provides an incentive for ethnic-Chinese criminals to claim triad membership, however spurious the claim may be or however powerless and unorganised the triad in question may really be. note#35 Thus claims by criminals to be triad members cannot be taken at face value. Equally, assertions that criminal triads exist in Australia as powerful, well-organised, functioning entities must be treated sceptically insofar as the assertions are based on statements from criminals claiming membership in such organisations.

4.17 In 1988, the leaders of a non-criminal triad, the Melbourne-based Mun Ji Dong (MJD), which began life on the Victorian goldfields in the middle of the last century, presented their view on possible criminal triad presence in Australia. note#36

MJD members said law enforcement agencies were on the wrong track if they were working on the 'Chinese Mafia network' theory that international criminal Triads had established themselves in Australia and controlled a comprehensive range of criminal activities.

The MJD said there appeared little evidence that these crime Triads had established themselves here. A more realistic scenario was that some Chinese crime syndicates had individuals on the fringes of the Australian Chinese community, working as contacts for the importation of illicit narcotics and Asian prostitutes.

However, these people appeared to be low-profile operators without established criminal Triad power bases. 'I think we'd have spotted them (established Triad crime gangs) if they were around, but we haven't seen anything to suggest they've established themselves here,' said Mr Edmond Louey, a vice-secretary of the MJD.

Mr Louey said there were indications that some petty Asian criminals claimed 'heavy' Triad affiliations to intimidate victims.

MJD members dismissed suggestions that criminal Triads controlled illegal gambling: Chinese casinos in Melbourne and Sydney were operated by individuals.

4.18 There has in recent years apparently been some difference of opinion among law enforcement agencies in Australia and overseas about how important triads are to understanding and tackling Chinese organised criminal activity. The Chairperson of the National Crime Authority, Mr Tom Sherman told the Committee in 1992:

You get your two schools of thought, really. There is one school of thought that says the Triads are very important, and there is another school of thought that seems to be equally well informed that says that they are not so important. I suspect that, like all things, the truth lies somewhere in between. note#37

4.19 The National Crime Authority's General Manager, Operations, Mr Peter Lamb, made a similar point in a media interview in 1993: note#38

Asked if there was an organised Asian crime system in Australia, Mr Lamb said: 'I don't think anyone who has worked against organised crime would deny that.' But Mr Lamb said that was not to say groups like the Yakuza and Triads had cemented an illegal operation in Australia. The NCA's intelligence shows that some criminal groups in Australia have Triad members. But as Mr Lamb said: 'Whether that equates to the Triads being the real force behind the crime is another matter.'

4.20 As far as the Committee can discern, there is an increasing tendency to play down the relevance of triad links. It is not clear from the material available to the Committee to what extent this tendency is due to a better understanding of Chinese organised criminal activity, and to what extent it might reflect a shift in the way that activity is being conducted. There are suggestions that the more traditional, triad-oriented, way in which those criminal activities were once organised is increasingly being replaced by a more entrepreneurial, ad hoc, and multi-ethnic approach.

4.21 From a United States' perspective, the 1992 United States Senate subcommittee report previously referred to stated:

... neither triads, tongs nor gangs appear to be currently involved, as organizations, in heroin trafficking. While members of these groups frequently utilize their membership to benefit their heroin trafficking enterprises, the groups themselves are not typically part of the heroin smuggling.

... In fact, it is relatively easy for triad members to form criminal associations with members of other triads or with outsiders. note#39

4.22 An overview of the south-east Asian heroin trade was given to that subcommittee by a witness from the Central Intelligence Agency. He also stressed the fragmented, ad hoc organisation that was involved.

The main point is that Southeast Asian heroin trade is highly segmented with many independent organizations conspiring to supply the United States and other consuming countries. As heroin moves through the trafficking chain, control of the shipment is transferred several times:

In the initial phase, producers and refiners in Burma, Thailand and Laos obtain raw opium from farmers and refine it into heroin. Some three-quarters of the region's heroin refining capacity is concentrated just inside Burma.

In the second stage, international brokers in the region arrange the sale, consolidation and movement of large heroin shipments from refineries in Burma through Thailand to transshipment points elsewhere in Asia. note#40

Next, wholesale buyers, in places like Hong Kong and Singapore, purchase heroin from the brokers and move shipments to the United States for resale. The buyers are frequently connected with Chinese or other international organized crime groups.

Finally, retail distribution networks in the United States and Western Europe sell the product on the streets. They often have business connections with the Asian organized crime groups who dominate the wholesale business.

We believe that each heroin shipment has unique features. Processing, financing and transport operations are tailored according to the resources and requirements of the producers and the wholesale buyers. A single heroin shipment may involve multiple transactions between different brokers. note#41

4.23 A 1991 internal review of the NCA's Chinese organised crime reference (Iliad) stated:

Investigations under the Iliad Reference have, however, provided significant collateral for the proposition that Triad organisations in Australia are not central to the heroin trade, but are one element of the Chinese criminal environment in which criminal entrepreneurs undertake a variety of activities, including heroin importation. note#42

4.24 The Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence provided a 'national strategic assessment' in May 1992 called Chinese Organised Crime in Australia. The NCA informed the Committee that:

The ABCI Report considered a range of criminal activities including heroin importation and distribution, prostitution, illegal gambling, violence and money laundering. It also discussed Triad activities and questioned the importance of Triads to an understanding of COC [Chinese Organised Crime] activities in Australia. note#43

4.25 A 1993 paper by two Australian criminologists argued: 'Our ethnically Chinese criminals are just ethnic Chinese criminals; they can be organised in the corporate or enterprise sense but Triad membership or otherwise appears something of an irrelevance'. note#44 Another criminologist, Ian Dobinson, offered a similar view of the role of the triads in ethnic-Chinese organised heroin trafficking. He noted that ' enforcement in Hong Kong appears to hold the view that small groups are involved and that there are no significant triad links'. note#45 He also argued that:

This is not to suggest that Chinese heroin groups are not 'organized'. Rather, it is to argue that they are not organized in the sense of large hierarchical syndicates inexorably linked to various triads. The significance of these groups in relation to their contribution to heroin availability cannot be denied, but Chinese involvement may be simply a reflection of a criminal counterpart to the legitimate economic dominance of ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. note#46

4.26 The prevalent view, therefore, appears to the Committee to be that whatever criminal triads exist in Australia do not operate as branches that are subject to control from some overseas headquarters. Indeed, it may be overstating things to regard them as enduring entities at all. In recent years in Australia, loosely-organised, syndicates appear to have been the predominant form in which Chinese organised crime has manifested itself. Some syndicate members may belong to a particular triad, others may belong to different triads, and some syndicate members may not have any triad connections.

4.27 The impetus for engaging in a particular criminal activity seems to come from the individuals rather than a triad. Syndicates form for particular purposes in very flexible ways and may dissolve once the immediate purpose, such as a major heroin importation, has been achieved. Alternatively they may re-form with altered membership for another purpose. Individuals may claim to be members of one triad at one time, and a different triad on a later occasion. The strength of a particular triad may be perceived to increase as particular successful criminals use it to facilitate their activities, and may rapidly decline if these criminals are arrested, retire or shift to another triad. In other words, this view suggests that Australian triads have little enduring strength, continuity of power, or inherent organisation.
Approach of the Law Enforcement Review Report

4.28 In describing the role of Chinese in 'major and organised crime in Australia', the February 1994 Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements, focused on the triads, note#47 although it did note that not all organised criminal activity undertaken by people from Chinese backgrounds could be attributed to the triad societies. note#48 In listing the criminal groups and activities upon which it thought the National Crime Authority should focus, the Review Report listed 'Chinese Triad Societies' rather than using an expression such as 'Chinese organised crime groups'. note#49

4.29 Too much, perhaps, should not be read into the expression used. Nonetheless, the Committee found this approach by the Review somewhat puzzling, given the preponderant view (set out above) that concentration on triad societies and membership in them is of only limited value in understand and tackling ethnic-Chinese organised criminal activity. It is interesting to contrast the Review's approach with an April 1994 statement by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation setting out the main international organised crime/drug enterprises that it regards as a major threat to United States society. On Asian organised crime, the statement does not refer to triad societies at all, but defines the groups as follows:

Asian Criminal Enterprises - the groups which pose the greatest threats are:
- Chinese criminal enterprises, such as criminally-influenced Tongs and their affiliated street gangs, which control illegal gambling, loansharking, and extortion activities in many Asian communities.
- Multi-ethnic Asian drug trafficking groups which smuggle Southeast·Asian heroin into the United States.
- Independent Asian gangs with international, national, or regional influence, including violent Chinese and Vietnamese gangs that are transient in nature. note#50

Geographic Spread within Australia

4.30 Justice Stewart told the Committee in 1988 that the NCA had not been able, due to lack of resources, to look at Chinese organised crime in any depth outside Sydney. However, it had evidence which strongly supported the conclusion that Chinese organised crime was just as entrenched in Melbourne as it was in Sydney, and that there was a strong Western Australian connection too. He suggested that wherever there was a Chinese community there would be some organised extortion. note#51

4.31 The South Australian Police Commissioner, Mr David Hunt, said in September 1994 that there was no direct evidence of triad activity in South Australia, although the number of Chinese prostitutes in Chinese-owned massage parlours had increased. note#52

4.32 In relation to the geographical scope of drug trafficking, an intelligence assessment in 1991 stated that:

Intelligence reports suggest strongly that, for most consignments of heroin, Sydney is the main destination point, with importation taking place either in Sydney itself or, on occasion, in other gateway airports for subsequent movement within the domestic transportation system across the country to Sydney. Border interdiction results from law enforcement operations show, likewise, a higher level of detections in Sydney than at any other port in Australia. note#53

4.33 Of the 33.667 kg of heroin seized at the Customs barrier in 1993, just over half (17.576 kg) was seized in NSW. note#54 Data for total seizures (ie. at the barrier and elsewhere in Australia) for 1993 also show the dominance of Sydney: of the 115.8 kg of heroin seized, 90 kg was seized in New South Wales. note#55 To the extent that ethnic-Chinese groups dominate the import of heroin, this gives some measure of the distribution of their activities, although the figures fluctuate from year to year. Thus a single seizure of 71.6 kg in Sydney in 1993 accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the total seized in NSW during 1993. A single importation of over 120 kg that was seized in Darwin in September 1994 will similarly have a distorting effect on the 1994 figures.

4.34 In addition, point of seizure is, of course, not necessarily a reliable guide to where the importer is based. In September 1994 an operation involving the AFP and other agencies resulted in the seizure of 37.5 kg of heroin in Perth and another 11 kg in Adelaide. note#56 According to media reports, police believed the heroin originated in the Golden Triangle. It had been imported into Australia on a bulk-carrier through the port of Geraldton by Chinese seamen recruited in southern China and Hong Kong. Police thought that the entire shipment was destined for Sydney and was organised by a Sydney-based group with links to Hong Kong and Canada. Those arrested included Chinese nationals resident in Australia, Hong Kong nationals and Chinese-Canadians.
Cooperation with Other Criminal Groups

4.35 The observation was made above (para. 4.7) that much of the heroin importation by Chinese criminal groups is directed towards supplying other, non-Chinese, groups for their own distribution networks. As an illustration, a former Queensland Criminal Justice Commission officer was reported in February 1994 as having said that Chinese heroin importers were the source for an ethnic-Romanian drug distribution network on Australia's eastern seaboard. note#57

4.36 The Western Australia Police Deputy Commissioner, Mr Les Ayton, was recently reported as saying: 'An emerging threat is the cooperation that is developing between Chinese and Italian organised groups (that are) complementing each other with their knowledge of importation practices and distribution networks'. note#58 However, the Committee is not aware of other evidence for the emergence of this threat.

4.37 The extent of organised criminal connections between Vietnamese, Vietnamese-born Chinese (Sino-Vietnamese) and other Chinese is unclear. In 1988, Justice Stewart told the Committee that there was some evidence that Chinese organised criminals were using ethnic-Vietnamese as 'foot-soldiers'. note#59 There is more recent evidence that suggests that the Vietnamese are no longer so ready to adopt subordinate roles.

4.38 Deputy Commissioner Ayton recently said: 'Vietnamese criminals, initially, were used by Chinese organised crime for use as couriers and as part of the distribution network. There is good intelligence and anecdotal evidence that the Vietnamese (criminals) are now emerging as major importers of heroin.' note#60 Mr Ayton also said that Vietnamese criminals were acting in concert with Chinese criminals in serious and widespread credit card fraud. He said counterfeit credit cards were being manufactured in Hong Kong and were readily available in Australia to organised crime groups.

4.39 The Australian Federal Police Annual Report 1992-93, p. 57 noted: 'A national intelligence project into Chinese organised crime continued. Research in Sydney has been widened to focus on the Vietnamese and Sino-Vietnamese gangs engaged in heroin trafficking and money laundering.' The NCA's most recent annual report states that NCA investigations in Melbourne had 'identified a Sino-Vietnamese group involved in heroin importation, distribution and other offences'. note#61

4.40 A January 1994 media report referred to the activities of the Criminal Justice Commission and stated:

It is suspected that members of the Vietnamese community may have criminal links to members of the Chinese community in Brisbane. Because of the increasingly noticeable criminal activities of the ethnic Chinese from Vietnam as well as native Vietnamese, a CJC intelligence project has been launched to embrace total Asian crime in Queensland ... note#62

4.41 On the other hand, another recent media report cited an unnamed 'senior Perth academic' as saying that the Vietnamese and Chinese had been fighting for dominance in the Perth heroin market. note#63 The report said in the previous two years the wholesale price of heroin in Perth had dropped from $15,000 an ounce to about $8,000 while the strength (purity) on offer had doubled. Police considered it was plausible to attribute this to the effect of the competition.

4.42 Law enforcement agencies have a legitimate concern that their task will be made more difficult if different groups of organised criminals work together - if for example, the triads form alliances with Italian or Vietnamese organised crime groups. The inconclusive reports that this may be occurring are, however, open to more than one interpretation. They may be no more than a reflection of the view set out above - that much that might be attributed to triad activity is more accurately seen as the work of temporary syndicates and networking by individuals. In the context of this view, alliances with non-triad groups are just further evidence of the opportunistic and ad hoc nature of those who use the triad label.
Hong Kong's Reversion to Chinese Rule in 1997

4.43 Some years ago concerns began to be expressed that the return of Hong Kong to the control of the People's Republic of China in 1997 would lead to an exodus of triad members. It was feared that those leaving would try to establish themselves in criminal activities in countries such as Australia, note#64 although this view was not unanimous. note#65 However, the February 1994 Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements (para. 4.50) presented a different view:

While there had been concern that there would be an exodus of Triad members from Hong Kong to Australia in the lead up to 1997, it now seems probable that the Triads have already established themselves in southern China and that they are mostly unconcerned about the return to PRC rule.

4.44 It seems that the economic boom in China, especially the part nearest Hong Kong, combined with greater economic freedom in China, have presented attractive opportunities for Hong Kong-based organised criminals. There are media reports of increased triad activity in China, especially in the coastal areas, and in November 1994 China's Justice Minister said that the re-emergence of the triads in China was posing a serious threat to its social stability. note#66

Senior criminal intelligence officers in the Hong Kong police believe that the biggest of the Triad gangs, the Sun Yee On, which is thought to have more than 30,000 members in the British colony, now has a stranglehold on the government of Guangdong Province [in mainland China] which boasts one of the world's fastest growing economies.

5. Vietnamese Organised Crime in Australia

5.1 For over a decade there has been concern expressed about the growth in Australia of organised criminal activity by Vietnamese, with media attention focusing initially on 'crime gangs'. For example, a 1988 media report stated: 'Criminal gangs in the Vietnamese community are increasingly heavily armed, are moving into drugs and gambling, establishing links with Australian crime figures, and becoming involved in standover rackets in their own community'. note#67 A 1991 media report quoted an unnamed police source as saying that Vietnamese groups were mainly involved in crimes against their own community including murder, extortion, robbery and petty drug dealing, with standover and extortion being the most common. note#68

5.2 Similar concerns have emerged in Canada note#69 and the United States. In 1992, a United States Senate subcommittee reported: note#70

Vietnamese gangs are known to be highly mobile. Vietnamese gang members often travel interstate, perpetrating a variety of criminal acts in a short period of time. Such gangs utilize contacts in various U.S. cities which were made in refugee camps in South-east Asia.

Vietnamese crime groups are generally considered to be less organized but more violent than ethnic Chinese organized crime groups. Some groups, such as the New York-based BTK (Born to Kill) Gang are well structured with a definite leadership hierarchy. Other gangs are very unstructured and constantly changing in affiliation. Ethnic Chinese from Vietnam (sometimes called 'Viet-ching') often play an important role as members of Vietnamese gangs or as links between Vietnamese and Chinese crime groups. ...

Vietnamese crime groups are involved in a wide range of criminal activities. ... [a witness] identified the major areas of Vietnamese-related criminal activity to include: Extortion; fraud; auto theft; terrorism (political and criminal); high-technology theft; gambling; prostitution; narcotics trafficking; and home invasion robberies.

5.3 In 1992, the then head of the Victoria Police's Asian division, Detective Sergeant Stephen Pierce, was reported as saying: 'Whilst the Vietnamese gangs lack organisation, they pose greater dangers due to their ease of mobility and transient nature, their random selection of targets, their lack of ties and ability to enact extreme violence upon their victims'. note#71 The South Australian Police Commissioner, Mr David Hunt, said in September 1994 that Vietnamese gangs were increasingly becoming involved in criminal activity in South Australia, particularly narcotics and extortion. note#72

5.4 The overview of organised crime in the Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements stated in relation to involvement of Vietnamese groups:

4.60 During the past ten years a number of Vietnamese criminal groups have come to law enforcement attention in Australia. In some States, these groups have come to play a prominent role in the organisation of criminal activity. Their field of operations has included distributing heroin, organising extortion and illegal gambling operations, and undertaking armed robberies of both businesses and private homes.

4.61 At the same time, it has become apparent that a number of these Vietnamese groups are organising heroin shipments, either independently of or in association with established Chinese heroin trafficking operations. An increasing amount of heroin coming to Australia appears to have been transhipped through Vietnam.

4.62 These trends are most notable in Sydney and particularly in the Cabramatta district, where one such gang has the name '5T' - a reference to a tattoo worn by some members. This gang has become prominent in the distribution of very pure heroin in the district, but also in systematic extortion, home invasion robberies and other offences. Its members are frequently armed, either with knives or firearms. There are indications that the group is extending its operations outside Sydney.

4.63 In some States, the threat of Vietnamese organised crime is already perceived by the relevant police services as being greater than that posed by Chinese organised crime. Law enforcement agencies have significant difficulties in counteracting Vietnamese organised crime, due to a lack of Vietnamese police officers, consequent language barriers, and a common mistrust of police and other government agencies by migrants from Vietnam.

Drug Trafficking Activities

5.5 Vietnamese syndicates appear to be willing to become involved at all levels of the heroin trade from street dealing to importing. They are also willing to purchase from Chinese importers and to wholesale to other groups, such as Romanian and Lebanese dealers. The heroin the Vietnamese import themselves is believed to come via Vietnam, which is apparently experiencing both increased production of opium (the drug from which heroin is produced) and increased transit of heroin produced elsewhere in the region. note#73 Vietnamese syndicates are thought to have been responsible for only a small amount - perhaps five percent - of the total heroin importation into Australia in recent years. Intelligence and seizures have indicated that the Vietnamese importers deal in smaller quantities than their Chinese counterparts, although this may be starting to change.

5.6 Western Australia's Deputy Police Commissioner, Mr Les Ayton, recently said. 'There is good intelligence and anecdotal evidence that the Vietnamese (criminals) are now emerging as major importers of heroin'. note#74 A media report in April 1994 cited Queensland police sources as believing that millions of dollars of heroin had been sent from Ho Chi Minh City to Queensland during the earlier part of 1994. note#75 High-grade heroin was freely available in south-east Queensland and at prices that indicated a plentiful supply. Smuggling by air passengers was apparently the main means of importation. Another media report, in May 1994, described how Queensland Police had set up a special Asian Task Force. The report cited police as stating that of fifteen people arrested in Brisbane on major heroin trafficking charges in the preceding three months, at least ten were Vietnamese. note#76 It also said police were treating seriously a claim that a Vietnamese woman was 'masterminding a high-grade heroin distribution ring in Brisbane's western suburbs which used shops and youths from the local Vietnamese community to retail the drug'. note#77

5.7 Until recently, the quantities seized indicated that each shipment by Vietnamese was relatively small - under a kilogram, note#78 although there were, it seems, rumours that larger shipments were occurring. These rumours may have been correct. A shipment of fourteen kilograms of heroin that arrived in a shipping container through the port of Melbourne was seized in November 1994. This shipment was apparently imported by a Vietnamese group. note#79

5.8 The Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence (ABCI) has given the following description of the drug trafficking network in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta involving the 5T gang. note#80

This network, formed around the dominant 5T gang, was engaged in securing a large market with Cabramatta as its centre, by supplying high-quality Southeast Asian heroin (from 65 to 75% pure) for the same price that lower purity heroin was sold for elsewhere (a cap of 0.03gm cost $40-50 on the street). This attracted addicts and dealers from far and wide. By organising its own importations of heroin (typically impregnated in fabric, or carried by couriers returning from Vietnam), it was able to greatly reduce its reliance (and its overheads) on the Chinese criminals who supply the greater proportion of the market. The 5T gang also cut out the middlemen, and sold directly to the street. A marked increase was noted in heroin overdoses, prompting the New South Wales Health Department to issue a public warning. note#81

5.9 The NSW Police have given particular attention to the heroin distribution in the Cabramatta area since the increase in the number of heroin offences there began in 1992. From July 1992 to July 1994, 1,360 persons were charged as a result with heroin-related offences, 518 of them with supplying heroin of different quantities. note#82 Of the 638 arrested in 1993 on heroin-related charges, 73 were juveniles. note#83

5.10 There is a belief that the sale of high-purity heroin in the Cabramatta area was a deliberate marketing strategy to compete against the Chinese groups who had previously dominated the upper levels of the trade. note#84 While this may well be correct, the Committee notes that the sale of higher-purity heroin at the retail or street level in the last few years is a world-wide phenomenon. In the United States, for example, it was said in April 1994 that heroin was now being sold on the street with purity levels as high as 70 to 72 percent, in contrast to the average of 10 or 15 per cent a few years ago. note#85 A similar trend has been observed in Britain. note#86 Rising purity-levels have also been encountered in other parts of Australia, apart from Cabramatta. note#87 The ABCI's 1993 assessment stated:

The rising purity levels encountered in most jurisdictions [in Australia] is the continuation of a trend that appeared in 1992. During that year, Australia's domestic heroin market seemed to undergo some structural changes. These included a reduction in the levels in the distribution chain, new participants and relationships formed between higher level suppliers and lower level dealers, accompanied by a rise in competition and distrust, sometimes leading to violence. In some instances during 1993, heroin trafficking syndicates also deliberately maintained purity levels high to secure a bigger share of the market than their competitors. The shake-out in the distribution chain may have led many dealers to demand a higher purity of the drug from their suppliers, and the reduction of dealer levels probably resulted in less dilution. note#88

Street Gangs, Extortion and 'Home Invasions'

5.11 There are many media reports of 'Asian gangs' in Sydney engaging in violent robberies including 'home invasions', note#89 and in extortion from small businesses, in addition to drug trafficking. The ABCI's 1993 assessment said that one of the gangs, the 5T, 'engages in extortion and armed robbery, and is involved in gambling and prostitution'. note#90 Media reports tend to suggest that most of the members of these gangs are young people of Vietnamese ethnic origin. The 5T gang has been variously described as having a hard core of 30 to 40 members and a total following of more than one hundred, note#91 or as having more than 200 members. note#92 There are said to be several other similar though smaller gangs in the area. note#93

5.12 However reports do not make clear if the members of the 5T and similar gangs are exclusively ethnic Vietnamese, or include Vietnamese-born ethnic Chinese, or also include Chinese, Cambodians, or non-Asians. For example, one report stated that membership of the 5T gang is 'predominantly Indochinese'. note#94 The ABCI's 1993 assessment stated that a typical 5T member 'is of Vietnamese extraction'. note#95 Another media report said:

Although there are several smaller Vietnamese-dominated gangs which include members from other Asian countries such as Laos and Cambodia, the most prominent gang is the '5T'. Believed to number up to 200, it consists of Vietnamese teenagers and young men ... note#96

5.13 Nor is it clear if the 5T and other gangs are merely local entities, or if some of them are part of, or operate in conjunction with, larger or more widespread criminal organisations. note#97 The 5T gang is said to have links with Southeast Asia and with people in Victoria. note#98 This point is of some importance to whether the gangs can be seen as mainly a problem of juvenile delinquency, or should be regarded as 'organised crime' on a par with Italian and Chinese organised crime. In a July 1994 interview, NSW Police Chief Inspector Alan Leek was quoted as saying of the 5T gang:

We can label it a gang but it's the same as any group of people banding together; young people who have similar problems. It's a very normal part of every society to have delinquent young people. I presume they band together for mutual support and as some sort of social basis. note#99

5.14 This is not to deny that what today may be mainly a local problem of juvenile delinquency has the potential to become a more serious problem of organised crime if nothing is done. In March 1994, Mr John Newman noted the fairly high arrest rate for juveniles in Cabramatta and said: 'They were simply being used as runners for drugs and other offences. They are easy prey for some of the Mr Bigs in the area to use, and that is what is happening.' note#100

5.15 A further issue is the extent to which the gangs like the 5T are actually responsible for the violence and extortion that is occurring, or said to be occurring in the Sydney area. One youth worker has pointed out that 'when anything happens, people blame the 5T gang'. note#101

5.16 There have also been reports of violent extortion rackets and home invasions in Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria. note#102 However, it is far from clear to what extent persons of Vietnamese extraction are involved, and, to the extent that they are involved, to what extent they are organised in any meaningful way. On one view the extortion from businesses that occurs does not show much organisation or continuity. Some of it is very amateurish: when requests are made to small business-people for 'donations' or 'presents', no sanction follows if the threat is refused. However, the full scope of what is happening is not clear because many victims are apparently reluctant to report petty extortion, and also some more serious extortion, to the police.

5.17 In October 1994, a New South Wales Police spokesman said that there was no direct pattern to home invasion crimes: they occurred across all four NSW police regions, and neither offenders nor victims were restricted to any specific ethnic group. note#103 The New South Wales Police Minister, Mr Garry West, told the Legislative Assembly: 'From out studies of these crimes we know that up to 50 per cent of all offenders cannot be described in any detail. Of the remainder, 26 per cent are caucasian and 10 per cent are Asian.' note#104 In November 1994, the Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics was reported as saying that there was a likelihood of copy-cat home invasions, and that there were reports of Australian and Mediterranean gangs as well as Asian gangs being involved. note#105 A Queensland police spokesman was reported as saying in November 1994 that the early indications were that the home robberies there were not being carried out by organised gangs. note#106

5.18 However, statistics on 'home invasions' have to be treated with particular caution because it seems that not all occurrences are reported, in part at least due to fear of reprisals and culturally-based distrust of police. Some police believe that the real number of cases is several times higher than the number reported to police. note#107 An additional difficulty is that 'home invasion' has not been a defined category for the purposes of crime statistics, and therefore accurate long-term statistics of occurrences are often not readily available. note#108

5.19 Clearly Vietnamese organised criminal activity is increasing, particularly in relation to heroin. However, the Committee notes that a 1991 intelligence assessment warned against attaching undue weight to perceptions that a new ethnic group was moving into the criminal environment:

On the basis of the information available to the team, we have come to the view that since any ethnic group is capable of (and quite probably involved in) any form of criminal activity, then the periodic shifts in law enforcement focus on specific groups itself produces a skewed perception of what is happening. As more information (on a new group) becomes available as a result of change in operational and intelligence focus, and less (of the old) comes to notice, then this phenomenon will strengthen the already-formed impression that 'a new group' is moving into the criminal environment. note#109

6. Japanese Organised Crime in Australia
History and Characteristics of the Yakuza

6.1 The following description of the yakuza comes from a 1992 report of a United States Senate subcommittee: note#110

Japanese crime groups are referred to by the Japanese National Police Agency as the 'Boryokudan', which means 'the violent ones.' Boryokudan has replaced the historical label of 'Yakuza,' a slang term Japanese gang members gave themselves to depict an underdog image. note#111

The official membership of Boryokudan groups in Japan is estimated to be 88,300, but there may be as many as ten times that number of other criminal associates. note#112 The Boryokudan wield enormous influence in Japan, and have penetrated many aspects of Japanese life, reaping substantial illegitimate profits and investing in many legitimate businesses. Boryokudan have become increasingly active internationally, particularly in global money-laundering operations and narcotics trafficking. The Japanese National Police estimate Boryokudan earnings worldwide to total $10 billion annually, a third of which comes from drug trafficking activities. ...

The roots of the Boryokudan can be traced to the early 17th Century, when there existed a lower class of independent samurai warriors. These legendary figures have been the subject of many Japanese stories, and as bandit heroes, can be likened to Robin Hood.

Boryokudan origins can be traced to two other groups which evolved during the 18th and 19th Centuries - street peddlers and gambling gangs. The street peddlers were organized into gangs with complex organizational structures emphasizing total loyalty. The gambling gangs were known as 'Bakuto.' Tattooing, which until recently was widely popular among Boryokudan members, and finger-cutting (the practice of cutting off a joint of the little finger as an indication of remorse when an assigned task was not performed) began with the bakuto, which also maintained some degree of secrecy within each group. ...

In the 20th Century, expansion of Boryokudan activities corresponded with the growth of the Japanese economy. Boryokudan entered into a variety of businesses, most notably construction and transportation. ... Recently, there have been numerous publicly reported incidents revealing the Boryokudan's involvement in public corruption which have also involved major figures in industry and finance. ...

Over the past three decades, the Boryokudan have become immersed in real estate development, company racketeering, and large-scale loansharking. Much of their business activity is facilitated through extortion, and Boryokudan leaders have often used strong-arm tactics in business transactions of all sizes. ...

The success of Japanese criminal groups on the domestic front has been facilitated by their being allowed to operate in the open. Boryokudan have functioned largely as public corporations, maintaining offices which display their group logo, and even carrying business cards identifying their gang.

The Boryokudan, until recently, submitted membership lists to the National Police Agency (NPA). While the Japanese police have recently used the substantial intelligence base generated by these lists to expand anti-Boryokudan efforts, a significant number of Japanese police officers have traditionally held some degree of respect for the gangsters. Breaking with past acceptance of Boryokudan, on March 1, 1992, the Japanese Government began enforcement of a new 'Boryokudan Countermeasures Law.' The Japanese Government has also promulgated new money laundering statutes to go into effect at the end of l992. ...

Over the last three decades, Japanese organized crime has expanded overseas. While Japanese crime groups have been active in Korea since the end of World War II, Boryokudan prostitution operations in Korea greatly expanded in the 1970's. note#113 During that decade, the Boryokudan became deeply involved in the international sex trade. Boryokudan-controlled prostitution, pornography, and 'sex tour' operations stretched to Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and later to South America, Europe, and the United States. Boryokudan members have recruited American women from Hawaii and the West Coast into prostitution in Japan.

Boryokudan operations in the United States during recent years have included gun running, drug trafficking, gambling, extortion immigration fraud, securities violations, and money laundering. ...

Boryokudan gangs currently play a primary role in bringing crystal methamphetamine, also known as 'ice,' into Hawaii, where it is now regarded by law enforcement officials as the No. 1 drug problem.

Japanese criminal figures routinely visit Las Vegas, and to a lesser extent, Atlantic City, on gambling junkets. Additionally, Boryokudan members have been tied to illegal gambling operations in the United States.

Boryokudan members have kept a low profile in extortion operations in the United States. Although Boryokudan corporate extortionists, known as sekoiya, made appearances at corporate board meetings of such companies as BankAmerica and Chase Manhattan Bank in the early 1980's, these 'visits' were of little consequence. No recent attempts to strong-arm blue chip American firms have been documented. Street-level extortion of businesses by Boryokudan has been reported in Hawaii and Southern California in recent years, but such activity has been minimal compared to the high level of Boryokudan extortion operations in Japan.

Currently, U.S. law enforcement concern about Japanese crime groups is primarily focused on money laundering. Numerous instances exist where U.S. properties were purchased by individuals with alleged Boryokudan ties. ... U.S. law enforcement authorities are convinced that substantial sums of money are still being successfully laundered in the United States.

6.2 The three largest boryokudan groups are the Yamaguchi-gumi, the Inagawa-kai and the Sumiyoshi-kai which between them accounted in 1992 for about half the total membership. The Yamaguchi-gumi, headquartered in Kobe, is by far the largest group having (in 1992) 944 affiliate gangs and 26,200 yakuza under its command. note#114 These gangs had been able to expand through tribute payments from their affiliate gangs, without direct involvement in the affiliates' illegal activities. note#115 In addition, most illegal activity in these gangs is not directed from the top. In some respects the way the gangs operate on a day-to-day basis resembles a pyramided franchise structure. Subordinates make regular payments to the person ranking above them. In exchange, they are allowed to use the name of the organisation to provide the necessary fear and intimidation to support their own independently-organised criminal activities. However, the whole gang is capable of operating as a single unit controlled from the top if necessary - in response to attacks on one of its members, for example. The higher levels also have the ability to mediate turf disputes between competing sub-units of the gang. note#116

6.3 The boryokudan countermeasures law referred to in the passage quoted in paragraph 6.1 above does not make the yakuza gangs illegal organisations as such. Instead it provides that gangs meeting specific criteria, such as having more than a certain percentage of membership who have criminal records, be designated as boryokudan. note#117 Designation makes it harder for a boryokudan to conduct business. The law prohibits designated organisations from, for example, realising profits from subtle forms extortion that were not specifically illegal under pre-existing law, such as demands for payoffs from a restaurant in return for 'protection', without any explicit threat of reprisal in case of refusal. In all the law bans eleven activities. Its effect has been to deny the designated groups access to previously lucrative sources of income. note#118

6.4 On one view, the effect of the 1992 law, the Japanese economic recession and increasing public disapproval has been to make yakuza members try to appear more legitimate: 'More and more gangs are fighting the big freeze by turning away from traditional money spinners such as drugs and gambling, and getting into more-or-less legitimate lines of business instead'. note#119 A 1994 media report states that many yakuza groups have tried to bypass the countermeasures law by re-incorporating themselves as industrial, political and even religious groups. The Yamaguchi-gumi has apparently re-established part of its organisation as the National League to Purify the Land, a non-profit charity ostensibly dedicated to stamping out drug abuse. The Sumiyoshi-kai, the second largest gang, has become Hori Enterprises. The Inagawa-kai, the third largest, is now Inagawa Industries. note#120 Some yakuza members, however, have apparently become increasingly violent in Japan since 1992. The same 1994 media report states:

The upsurge in yakuza violence comes at a time when all the gangsters' traditional lines of income have been falling. Loan-sharking, gambling, drugs and brothels have all suffered steep falls in business. Speculative golf clubs and property developments, in which gangsters invested heavily, have collapsed. So have other money-laundering operations and investments in the stock market. Credit lines once easy to obtain from banks and brokers, are no longer available as Japan enters a credit crunch; for the first time overall bank lending contracted in June and July. Furthermore after a series of scandals which linked top politicians and businessmen with yakuza deals and helped bring down the government last year, companies have been trying to clean up and sever connections with the underworld.

6.5 The boryokudan countermeasures law and the economic difficulties in Japan have apparently led to some reduction in the total number yakuza members. note#121 An April 1994 media report noted this and stated: 'some police analysts believe that at this pace, the number of gangs could be halved in another two years. Indeed, a National Police Agency survey estimates that there were 53,000 gang members as of November 1993, some 10,000 fewer than a year earlier.' note#122 Nonetheless, the numbers involved are large when compared to Italian organised crime in the United States for example. note#123 Apparently, as the numbers have dropped, the proportion in the three largest groups has increased to about two-thirds of the total yakuza. note#124 A recent media report comments:

To law enforcement experts, the trend is clear. A leaner, meaner underworld is in the making. 'They are streamlining, just like the business world,' said a former prosecuting attorney who advises company executives on how to protect themselves from gangsters. 'The weaker ones are being weeded out, and the stronger syndicates are growing stronger.' ... Police acknowledge, however, that no major gangs have gone out of business, no leading figures put behind bars. The big three syndicates, the Yamaguchi-gumi, Inagawa-kai and Sumiyoshi-kai, appear as stable as ever ... note#125

6.6 In discussion in Australia it is sometimes said that this or that Japanese company has 'links' or 'associations' with the yakuza. In the absence of more detail on the nature of the alleged links or associations, such claims are not necessarily very meaningful, because of the very pervasive involvement of the yakuza with Japanese companies and the fact that until recently the yakuza were a tolerated part of Japanese society. note#126 For example, a 1994 media report stated:

Two in five Japanese companies have had connections to organised crime, while 5 per cent still have links to the underworld, according to a survey by national broadcaster NHK. Three hundred major companies were surveyed after an executive of Sumitomo Bank was shot dead on September 14 at his apartment. Responses were received from 205 companies. ... typical of links were the making of loans to gangsters and the paying of extortion money to avoid violence, sabotage or embarrassment at annual meetings. Forty-six companies, or 22 per cent, said their executives had received threats from mobsters - from shots into their homes to blackmail. note#127

Extent of Activities in Australia

6.7 There have been many warnings from police sources since at least the mid-1980s that Australia is, or risks becoming, a target for yakuza groups. note#128 In 1993 a Japanese National Police Agency analyst said: 'Our new anti-organised crime law is not only driving the yakuza underground, but also overseas'. note#129 In the same year a newspaper reported that a leaked intelligence assessment, apparently compiled by the Criminal Justice Commission, 'gives a warning Australia is being infiltrated by significant Japanese organised crime'. note#130 More recently, in September 1994 the AFP stated that it 'has considerable concerns about the possibility of organised crime interests in Japan extending into Australia'. note#131

6.8 There have also since the mid 1980s been many claims of yakuza activities in Australia. Although earlier visits were recorded, it was from about the mid-1980s that visits to Australia by alleged or admitted yakuza members began to attract the attention of law enforcement agencies and the media. note#132 It seems there are no accurate statistics on the number of yakuza visitors, although a media report stated in 1994 that 'the Australian police are now identifying known yakuza members arriving in Australia at a rate of about 40 a year'. note#133 This of course leaves open the number of visits by yakuza members who were not identified as such. Since the Japanese crackdown on the yakuza, many gang members are reported to have abandoned their distinctive dress, hairstyles and mannerisms. This would make them more difficult to detect easily at the customs barrier.

6.9 In most cases the ostensible reason for visits is recreation. A 1994 media report stated: 'The biggest Japanese gang, the Yamaguchi-gumi, maintains at least three corporate holiday villas on the Queensland Gold Coast for members' recreational use'. note#134 Yakuza visits to legal casinos have been widely publicised, with some of the visitors reported as bringing large amounts of cash with them. note#135 There have been many reports alleging that Australian's legal casinos are used by yakuza visitors for money laundering purposes. note#136 The then Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, was reported saying in 1991 that police were convinced that yakuza members were not visiting Australia just to gamble. note#137 He also said that it was reasonable to assume that profits from illegal yakuza activities in Japan had been invested in Queensland real estate.

6.10 In March 1991 the Queensland Government was provided with a Queensland Bureau of Criminal Intelligence report note#137A on the extent of boryokudan infiltration into Queensland. The report, with names and some other material deleted, was tabled in the Queensland Parliament on 26 November 1992, and was incorporated in the Senate Hansard on the same day. note#138 After a summary and some introductory material on the boryokudan, the report continued by drawing a comparison between Queensland and the position in Hawaii in the 1970s. The report said that in Hawaii the Japanese purchased considerable legitimate businesses worth hundreds of millions of dollars and that this was followed closely by 'a criminal invasion by the Boryokudan'. The report detailed the growth in Japanese tourism to Queensland, and the increase in the number of resident Japanese. It continued: note#139

4. Intelligence investigations reveal there is presently business practices of coercion amongst local Japanese businessmen involved in the tourist industry. For example tour operators conveying Japanese tourists to particular Japanese souvenir shops and in turn receiving commission. In fact some souvenir shop owners have approached the guides for their cooperation.

5. These practices are indicative of Boryokudan methods.

6. On 27 January 1991 three Japanese males entered an exclusive leather shop in surfers Paradise and attempted to intimidate the Japanese shop assistant to sell some leather goods at a greatly reduced rate. When she refused the three Japanese males claimed that they were Boryokudan (the principal had ornate body tattoos and a missing joint on the little finger) and threatened to assault the shop assistant and damage the shop. They subsequently left without incident.


1. There are no legal casinos in Japan hence there is a great attraction to the Australian casinos.

2. Conrad Jupiters Casino staff regularly travel to Japan to invite high rolling gamblers to their Casino and in return they pay for their airfares to Australia and their accommodation and meals at the Casino.

3. On many occasions when the Japanese gamble at Club Conrad (High Rollers) Casino staff regularly increase the limit of bets at the request of the Japanese even though this is in contravention of Casino regulations.

4. A number of Boryokudan members have been identified as having been invited to the Gold Coast by the Conrad Jupiters Casino. They in turn gamble hundreds of thousands of dollars at Club Conrad.

5. As a result of information received The Task Force (BCI) conducted surveillance in relation to the following person and his bodyguards.
xxxxxx born 211040 heads the Shino Gumi which is a subsidiary of the SUMI YOSHI RENGO KAI organisation, the third largest Boryokudan group in Japan. xxxxxx has visited Australia on six occasions the past three occasions being paid for by Conrad Jupiters Casino.
On each occasion that xxxxxx visited Australia he was accompanied by several associates (bodyguards) and had in his possession a leather bag containing a reputed 1 million dollars.
During a number of evenings at Club Conrad xxxxxx was observed by Casino staff to have a close association with xxxxxx born 250664, a former Daikyo employee, who resides on the Gold Coast. On one occasion xxxxxx was observed to give xxxxxx $80,000.00.

Property development

1. Japanese developers have targeted Queensland and in particular the Gold Coast and this is in close comparison to that of Hawaii in the 1970s.

2. United States law enforcement agencies now admit that they should have devoted more time investigating the so called legitimate developers. Queensland gained intelligence indicates that the following companies and associates have been involved in suspect business dealings.
Daikyo Kanko Company Ltd has been regularly reported as having Boryokudan associations. They are by far the largest developers on the Gold Coast. This bureau has not investigated Daikyo on the Gold Coast, however lengthy inquiries were made concerning Daikyo in the Cairns area.
Daikyo Cairns was the subject of an intelligence report to the C.J.C. Indications of official corruption with members of the Mulgrave Shire Council and intimidation of owners of tourist shops.
Shinko Australia P/L, intelligence indicates an involvement with the Boryokudan in the Sanctuary Cove area.
Current intelligence indicates that Interdevelop Company Limited has invested considerable sums of money on the Gold Coast for Japanese businessmen.
xxxxxx born 010237 a resident of Japan who is the xxxxxx of this company has been reported as being a Boryokudan member.
xxxxxx born 221265 who speaks fluent Japanese is one of the directors of Interdevelop and a number of other companies owned by xxxxxx.

3. The Japanese investors use Australians as Directors of companies, no doubt to disguise foreign ownership. To date a large number of companies have been identified on the Gold Coast as having Japanese interests. SEE ANNEXURE A note#140

4. With the large number of companies, with Japanese financial backing, on the Gold Coast, particularly in the hospitality industry, the way is open for the Boryokudan to legitimise tourist enterprises to cover their main sources of revenue - drugs, prostitution, gambling and extortion.

Recent confirmed Boryokudan visits

1. xxxxxx born 221229 in company with a number of other Japanese visited the Gold Coast during December 1990 and January 1991. He has also made a number of other visits to the Gold Coast.
An informant who is a personal confident to xxxxxx has identified him as being a high ranking Boryokudan member and should be treated with respect.
During xxxxxx previous visit to the xxxxxx Sheraton Mirage two suitcases arrived prior to his arrival. Hotel staff believed that one of the suitcases contained a large sum of money. When he did arrive a large sum of money was placed in a safety deposit box. When xxxxxx departed the two suit cases were left at the hotel for collection. Hotel staff believed that the suitcases were delivered and collected by a representative of Daikyo.
Also during this visit all bookings were made and paid for by xxxxxx (Daikyo).
During xxxxxx visit in December 90 and January 91 he also placed a sum of money believed to be approximately $1 million in a safety deposit box at the Sheraton Mirage. When he left in January 91 the hotel gave him permission to leave the money in the safety deposit box.

2. xxxxxx born 060965 arrived in Cairns in December 1990 in possession of 70 million yen (A$700,000.00) claiming he was a process worker/chef.
There is no real evidence that would suggest that xxxxxx is a member of the Boryokudan other than that he was arrogant and domineering in his manner.
The following day xxxxxx collected xxxxxx born 030566 from the international airport. xxxxxx address book was photocopied and several names in the address book have been identified as persons involved in the importation of illicit drugs.
And following this day xxxxxx (a known Boryokudan member) and his minders arrived at the Cairns international airport. They travelled to Darwin and were observed at the Darwin Casino. This party then travelled to the Gold Coast and stayed at Conrad Jupiters Casino. The inference is that the Boryokudan use couriers to transfer money from Japan for laundering in Australia.

Money laundering

1. The NPA have stated that there is no legislation to counteract money laundering within Japan. As previously mentioned there also is no control over moneys leaving Japan.

2. The Australian Customs Service do not refuse entry to persons with large amounts of money entering this country. xxxxxx is a typical example in that he entered Australia via Cairns in possession of 70 million yen and ACS officers simply recorded particulars of the money.

3. Conrad Jupiters Casino in fact entices Japanese to come to Australia, bringing with them large sums of money.

4. Intelligence suggests it is a recognised practice for Japanese Nationals to launder money within this country.

6.11 Clearly some of the items in this ABCI report are not of great weight, at least when taken isolation, as the Queensland Premier, Mr Goss, pointed out. note#141 Also the report has to be read for what it is - intelligence and allegations based on a variety of sources of varying quality and reliability, rather than information proven in court proceedings. Subsequent investigations failed to confirm some of the suggestions in the report, such as the suggestion that yakuza were involved in the commission arrangements by which tour guides brought Japanese tour groups to particular shops and tourist venues and intimidation of local businesses. Claims relating to casinos, and to money laundering generally are examined in paragraph 6.31 below.

6.12 In 1992, there were further claims that the Japanese company, Daikyo, had yakuza associations. note#142 Daikyo was at one stage a shareholder in Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast and was part of a consortium interested in bidding for a licence to operate a casino in Brisbane. It also has other tourism-related interests in Queensland. The claims were strongly denied by Daikyo. The Queensland Premier said that the yakuza links to Daikyo were not established. note#143 Also in 1992, the AFP was reported to be investigating several yakuza-related claims, including one that the yakuza were seeking permits to build and operate casinos in Australia and another alleging yakuza involvement in a northern New South Wales property development. note#144

6.13 In 1993 it emerged that Mr Masaru Takumi, second in charge of the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza group, was a frequent visitor to Australia and a company he owned had bought a penthouse on the Gold Coast. The Minister for Immigration subsequently cancelled Mr Takumi's visitor's visa on the basis of his admitted membership of the Yamaguchi-gumi. note#145 In the publicity surrounding this case a newspaper reported that a Japanese businessman had lost a large sum to another Japanese businessman on the Gold Coast in 1992 in a 'shonky business deal'. The businessman said he had no difficulty hiring 'a local yakuza enforcer' to get his money back. note#146

6.14 Some yakuza members have been deported from Australia because they failed to disclose their criminal records when applying for visitor visas. In some cases these visitors have apparently had large sums of cash in their possession. For example, according to a media report a group of three deported in November 1991 had more than $500,000 in Australian currency in their possession, which they were allowed to take with them because Australian officials could not prove that they had obtained it illegally. note#147 The AFP's Annual Report 1991-92, p. 22 stated:

Several Japanese Yakuza members and gang leaders have been identified as having visited Australia. A number of Yakuza members were detected violating immigration laws - mainly through failing to declare their past criminal records when applying for visas - and in co-operation with the Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, AFP officers 'supervised' their departure from Australia.

6.15 In May 1991 Mr Sueharu Suzuki was deported for failure to disclose his criminal convictions when applying for his entry visa. He apparently admitted that he was a former yakuza member. note#148 It seems he had visited Queensland for two years before his arrest and had, through companies, purchased properties in several parts of the State, one of which he said he was planning to develop into a rural retreat for the staff of his car dealership in Tokyo. note#149

6.16 In 1991, a yakuza visitor was successfully prosecuted under the Cash Transaction Reports Act 1988 for failing to declare that he was carrying more than $5,000 when attempting to leave Australia via Brisbane Airport for Japan. The person involved, Mr Chun Yong, was a Korean national said to be the leader of a yakuza gang called the Toa Yuai Jigyo Kumiai, and he had an extensive criminal record. He was reported to have had $155,000 in his possession when he arrived, and was attempting to leave with $68,000 in yen and Australian dollars. note#150

6.17 The Australian Federal Police Annual Report 1992-93, p. 29 stated that inquiries into Japanese organised crime in Australia indicated that an Australian and a Japanese national were allegedly involved in a fraudulent migration scheme to qualify Japanese investors under the Business Migration Scheme. A total of $8 million was apparently lost by several Japanese businessmen in the scheme. However, the annual report makes no explicit reference to any yakuza involvement. There are other cases where a Japanese living in Australia has allegedly attempted to defraud visiting Japanese, but there has apparently been no evidence of any yakuza involvement in these cases.

6.18 On 21 March 1994 the Australian Financial Review reported:

Japan's organised crime syndicates are moving into Australian industry and targeting legitimate companies as a crackdown on the gangs at home sends them looking for new opportunities abroad.

The Federal Police have recently opened five separate and substantial investigations into yakuza investment and crime in Australia. Four of these involve attempts to either invest in, or extort money from, legitimate businesses and business people operating in Australia.

There are indications that a Japanese syndicate is attempting to buy into an established Australian export industry to provide the conduit and cover for a major international drug trans-shipment route. ...

From what the Australian authorities have been able to uncover of the gangs' activities, they are now investigating:

* An attempt by a syndicate to make a sizeable corporate investment in an established Australian industry which exports to Japan, apparently with the intention of using the trade to ship drugs into the Japanese market;
* Intimidation and extortion of Japanese companies and business-people operating in Australia;
* Japanese gangs' moves to enter the construction industry in Australia, including sophisticated efforts to extort information about bidding for particular projects;
* Signs of systematic defrauding of Japanese individuals and businesses in Australia;
* Evidence of an emerging partnership in Australia between some yakuza groups and Hong Kong-based Triad gangs. ... note#151

6.19 In June 1992 seven Japanese, ostensibly tourists, were arrested on arrival at Melbourne airport from Malaysia when their luggage was found to contain 12 kilograms of heroin. Five of them, and a Malaysian national, were subsequently convicted and sentenced to terms totalling 105 years of imprisonment. One of those convicted was the leader of the tourist group, Yoshio Katsuno, who was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. One media report identified him as a 'former member' of the yakuza. note#152 Another said that Katsuno 'had been identified as a mid-level member of a Tokyo cell' of the yakuza. note#153 However, there was no suggestion that the yakuza had organised the importation. Rather the reports seems to suggest an ethnic-Chinese group based in Malaysia was the organiser. One media report described the case as 'the only known arrest which involved elements of ... the Yakuza in a South East Asian drug syndicate'. note#154

6.20 Finally in this collation of reports of yakuza activity in Australia, the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission has reportedly investigated claims that recruitment of Australians to work in Japan may be connected with yakuza-linked organised prostitution in Japan. note#155 According to a media story based on a leaked CJC report, 'A member of the political staff of the Australian embassy in Japan has confirmed Australian women are being recruited for the Japanese sex industry after their passports were taken by Yakuza members'. note#156
How Real is the Threat from the Yakuza?

6.21 A fair summary of the above would be that there is clear evidence of recreational visits by yakuza gang members, some of which have involved false statements about criminal antecedents in order to obtain the necessary visa, and at least one of which involved a breach of cash reporting law. There is evidence of some relatively minor real estate investments by yakuza-related companies, but these investments are not in themselves illegal. There are many other claims and allegations, as the preceding paragraphs have indicated, but there appears to be no hard direct evidence of illegal activity by yakuza gangs in Australia. note#157

6.22 In August 1990 the Director of Intelligence at the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission, Mr Jack Morris, was asked what evidence it had that yakuza principals had infiltrated Queensland and were involved in organised criminal activities. He responded by saying that 'we really have no hard evidence that would point to it, except that some overt or open source people have told us that they have seen them, and that they have visited different areas of the State, and I'm talking about a very small number [that] have been observed'. note#158 The Queensland Tourism Minister, Mr Gibbs, said in 1991: 'I am concerned about the fantasy that some people have suddenly developed about the Yakuza. If the Yakuza operate in this State ... nobody ... would support more thoroughly than myself a full investigation ... I understand that there is no proof that that is happening. There is suspicion of it, but there is no proof.' note#159

6.23 In 1992, the Committee raised a current media report note#160 about yakuza infiltration into Australia with the National Crime Authority. The response included a note of caution from Authority Member Malcolm Gray, QC:

One of the problems about this area is that a lot of it is anecdotal. Indeed, if you read that article it is really more anecdotal than based on any specific instance. The mere fact that a person is Japanese and that he buys property does not make him a member of the Yakuza or imply that there is a Yakuza takeover of property, particularly in Queensland.

I just make that as an observation because it is a little bit like Chinese and Triads, or Italians and the Mafia. There is a tendency to associate the ethnic group with the criminal element within that ethnic group without necessarily there being any justification for doing so.

Mr Cusack [a Member of the Authority] - The AFP had a report on the Yakuza. At that stage, although they were still investigating it, the AFP could show no link between people buying property on the Gold Coast and the Yakuza, as was being alleged. There are members of the Yakuza who are coming into Australia, they can show that, but as regards any links, so far that has not been achieved.

Senator JONES - There have been a number of reports, and not just this one, about the purchase of property. There have also been a number of reports in relation to the Yakuza and child prostitution. note#161 Those sorts of reports have been coming through too.

Mr Sherman - It is something we cannot take for granted. I agree with everything Mr Gray has said and we will keep an eye on it. ... note#162

6.24 In written answers in October 1992 to questions asked in the Senate, the then Minister for Justice, Senator Tate, said that the AFP was not aware of any evidence which would support the suggestion that the Queensland tourist industry was being used to launder profits from Japanese criminal activity. Nor did the AFP have any evidence to support the claim that the yakuza's penetration of the Queensland property market could be well above 25 per cent. note#163

6.25 A media report in May 1993 noted: 'Australia's law enforcement agencies believe that the Yakuza have not moved into Australia in a big way. They believe that most identified Yakuza who visit are here for a holiday and nothing else.' note#164 Two criminologists, Paul Wilson and Phil Dickie, expressed the view in a paper published in 1993 that there was:

no compelling evidence of widespread Japanese involvement in traditional criminal activities in Queensland; however, there is a legitimate concern over the potential for illegally sourced incoming investment flows to produce local and regional economic and social distortions. It appears that what law enforcement agencies and governments need to do in relation to the Yakusa 'threat' is to be more sure of where money for such things as tourism development come from. note#165

6.26 The section of the Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements dealing specifically with the yakuza suggests that yakuza groups are not currently operating here. The Report notes that historically in Japan the yakuza were to some degree a tolerated part of society and comments:

4.79 Since 1991, however, there has been a major government push against these groups. Armed with new anti-gang laws, Japanese authorities have been mounting successful operations against Yakuza groups and their leaders. While law enforcement agencies have known of recreational visits to Australia by Yakuza members for much of the past decade, the Japanese Government initiative may eventually cause Yakuza members to try to establish themselves in this country. Yakuza groups may see Australia as a place where they could recoup some of the profits lost in Japan.

4.80 A number of AFP investigations have revealed the presence in Australia of Yakuza members.

4.81 As with the Colombian syndicates, the resources available to the Yakuza groups would make them difficult for Australian law enforcement agencies to counteract if they established a presence here. (emphasis added)

6.27 The absence of a large, geographically-concentrated, Japanese community in Australia makes it less easy for yakuza to prey on Japanese here, in the way that Vietnamese and Chinese criminals have been said to prey on their (larger) respective ethnic communities in Australia. In addition, the close interest taken in yakuza visitors by Australian law enforcement agencies, and the attendant media publicity, may have discouraged visiting yakuza from seeing Australia as anything more than a holiday destination.

6.28 It has been pointed out that most yakuza cannot speak English, and that this provides a considerable barrier to their gaining a foothold in Australia. note#166 On the other hand, the language barrier also poses difficulties for Australian law enforcement agencies trying to investigate alleged yakuza activities: the use of standard techniques for investigating organised criminal activity, such as undercover investigators, infiltration techniques and telecommunication interception and electronic eavesdropping, all become more difficult.

6.29 The view was noted above that the economic slow-down in Japan, combined with the boryokudan countermeasures law, would push the yakuza overseas to places such as Australia. However, another view is that the chance of a concerted push by yakuza gangs into Australia has dropped sharply as a result of the changed economic climate in Japan. note#167 If the main interest of the yakuza in Australia to date has been the investment and laundering of profits, there is some logic is believing that the interest would decline as yakuza profits in Japan declined. If the number of media reports about alleged yakuza activities in Australia is any guide, there has been a marked reduction in the last year or so.

6.30 There are no reported cases in Australia of violence by yakuza groups, or of yakuza-organised drug trafficking into Australia. Nor have there been any reported prosecutions for yakuza-related extortion or any reports identifying specific companies on the receiving end of the sort of corporate blackmail which has been a noted feature of yakuza activity in Japan. note#168 There have been no proven cases of corruption of politicians or public office holders in Australia by yakuza. Apart from the false visa application cases and the failure to declare cash at the customs barrier, there have not been any media reports of arrests or convictions of yakuza members in Australia. There is manifestly a close media interest in anything relating to the yakuza that occurs in Australia. It is fair to assume from this, that had there been any arrests or prosecutions in cases with clear or even peripheral yakuza involvement, they would have received publicity.

6.31 Claims that yakuza members were visiting Australian casinos in the early 1990s to launder money must be read in the light of the NCA's 1991 investigation into money laundering generally. This found 'no known cases whereby casinos were used to conceal the origin of criminal funds'. note#169 The popular view that legal casinos provide a ready means to launder money is simply not correct. note#170 Monitoring of Mr Masaru Takumi (referred to in paragraph 6.13 above) revealed no evidence of his participation in casino gambling that could lead to money laundering. It did reveal that his wife had lost about $10,000 at Jupiters Casino. note#171

6.32 The NCA's investigation also noted the claims that real estate was used to launder the proceeds of overseas crimes. On this point, the study found: 'There are, however, only a very few confirmed cases which document the laundering or investment of proceeds of crime generated overseas in Australia'. note#172 The study did note, however, the need for better information on the proceeds of crime that might be entering Australia. note#173

6.33 It was also said in 1991 that there was no logical reason why yakuza members would want to come to Australia to try to launder money, given that there were at the time no restrictions on money exchanges in Japan. note#174 The relative sophistication of Australian measures for the detection of money laundering must surely lessen Australia's attractiveness for this purpose. The presence of strong Australian legislation against money laundering makes it risky for overseas criminal groups to use this country. There are still many other countries in which money laundering is not a crime, or where few measures are in place to detect it.

6.34 Although not involving the yakuza, the Law and Chun case illustrates the risk of confiscation for those investing the proceeds of overseas criminal activity in Australia. note#175 Law Kin Man is alleged to have made profits of at least US$100 million in the late 1980s by smuggling heroin from south east Asia into the United States. He is currently in custody there awaiting trial, after having been arrested in Hong Kong in 1989 and extradited to the United States in 1992. His profits from the United States were moved to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, some A$23 million was sent to Australia and invested in real estate by Law's wife, Deborah Chun, at his direction. She had been an Australian resident since 1983. On receiving information from the Hong Kong authorities, the NCA had taken an interest in her activities and discovered the real estate purchases. Action under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1987 was taken against Chun and the family company she controlled. Both pleaded guilty. In September 1983, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) obtained forfeiture orders in relation to $1,440,025 in cash and real estate valued at $4,050,000. In addition, the DPP obtained pecuniary penalty orders against Chun and her company totalling over $10 million. As at 30 June 1994, some $8.9 million had been recovered and paid into the Confiscated Assets Trust Fund.

6.35 The success in the Law and Chun case was attributable in considerable measure to the close cooperation between Australian, Hong Kong and United States authorities. However, close international cooperation is not always possible, and the absence of any proven cases of investment of yakuza money in Australia does not mean that no cases have occurred. Australian investigators have difficulty in verifying the source of funds coming from Japan so as to determine if they are the proceeds of crime. United States investigators have experienced similar difficulties, as a recent report noted:

Despite the fact that Japanese organized crime groups are believed to have invested hundreds of millions of dollars of profits from their criminal enterprises in U.S. real estate during the past decade, U.S. law enforcement authorities have had almost no success in dealing with this problem. The reasons are twofold: First, U.S. officials face almost insurmountable difficulties in tracing the source of Japanese funds used to purchase U.S. properties; second even if such information is obtained, loopholes in current U.S. law on money laundering make successful prosecution unlikely. note#176

6.36 Apart from the inherent difficulties in following money trails in foreign countries, Japanese privacy law limits the ability of its police to provide information on Japanese citizens to foreign law enforcement agencies. It seems that in at least two instances yakuza members or associates have sued the National Police Agency for releasing information to United States officials. note#177 Information may only be provided if there is a suspicion that a specific crime has been committed. Moreover, the crime must involve an act that, if committed in Japan, would be illegal under Japanese law. note#178 As noted above, yakuza membership per se is not a crime in Japan. Because Japanese money laundering law covers only the profits of drug trafficking, Japanese agencies will only cooperate in trying to identify a source of suspect funds in drug trafficking cases. As noted above, much of the yakuza gangs' income comes from non-drug activities.

7. NCA Activities in Relation to Asian Organised Crime

7.1 Many State police forces now have specialist Asian squads. Other law enforcement agencies are also prominent in combating Asian organised criminal activity. Hence the remainder of this section does not purport to be a comprehensive or balanced description of the activities of Australian agencies in this area. Rather the focus is on the role of the NCA.

7.2 The NCA came into existence on 1 July 1984 and on 19 October 1984 it was given its first two references. One of them was into organised Chinese criminal activity (the Iliad Reference). The reference arose from investigations and intelligence-gathering by the AFP, which had concluded that heroin importations were linked and controlled by several central figures. The NCA's Operation Iliad covered the investigation of illegal importations of narcotic substances, especially heroin, into Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne from South-East Asia since 1 January 1976, their distribution within Australia and the financing of such importations and distribution by (named) groups of persons who were of Chinese extraction. Work on the reference was carried out in cooperation with other agencies. The NCA conducted a comprehensive strategic assessment of information gathered during Iliad investigations, and this was disseminated to other Australian and overseas agencies in July 1991. note#179

7.3 The Iliad reference, which has been updated and reissued, remains in force and active today. It now covers south-east Asian groups, not just Chinese. note#180 Its current terms, besides narcotics, include bribery or corruption of officers, tax evasion, bankruptcy and company violations, fraud on the Commonwealth, forging of passports, currency violations, and money laundering.

7.4 The Committee noted in 1989 that it 'understands that the Authority was apparently the first Australian law enforcement agency to employ Chinese-speaking officers from Hong Kong to assist in the investigation of criminal activity among Chinese elements in Australia'. note#181 The employment of Chinese-speakers has been a feature of its operations since an officer from the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption joined the NCA's Iliad team in 1985.

7.5 The NCA convened a conference on Chinese Organised Crime in Canberra in August 1991. This was attended by representatives of Australian and overseas agencies. The conference 'resolved to initiate the development of an integrated law enforcement approach to combat Chinese and associated crime on a national basis'. note#182 The NCA has since played an important facilitative role, together with other agencies, in developing this approach, in particular by co-ordinating a national intelligence collection project. This has broadened beyond Chinese organised crime to cover south east Asian organised crime generally. The approach involved the collection of information from all relevant law enforcement agencies in Australia on a range of topics related to south east Asian organised crime. note#183

7.6 In November 1994, the NCA and the AFP co-hosted a conference on Asian Organised Crime in Sydney. This was attended by representatives of Australian and overseas law enforcement agencies. The conference reached the following conclusions on the nature and extent of Asian organised crime:

1. Organised crime is a major international phenomenon requiring a coordinated and dedicated international response.
2. To make a meaningful assessment of future trends in organised criminal activity, it is essential that organised crime be viewed in the international context and the totality of the organised criminal activity.
3. As new economic and business opportunities are created in many countries, so the opportunities for the involvement of organised crime increase.
4. Organised crime must be understood as a serious threat to the fundamental human rights of citizens of all countries.
5. Law enforcement agencies need to understand and attempt to anticipate the ability of organised criminal groups to continually adapt to change by exploiting opportunities to expand into any profit-making activity.
6. The 90s offers an environment of greater diversity, interactions and partnership between organised criminal groups and an environment of unprecedented mobility and internationality, of unprecedented variety and profitability and potential for power.
7. Although Asian criminal groups do not tend to be formally structured and hierarchical in nature, as other criminal organisations like the La Cosa Nostra, the impact of the criminal groups can be just as severe.
8. At present the principal threats posed by Asian organised crime come from manufacturing, importation and trafficking of illicit drugs, money laundering, illegal immigration, extortion, commercial crime and counterfeiting, loan sharking and violence.
9. A significant common strategy of Asian organised criminal groups is to induce fear of reprisal into victims, thereby discouraging reporting crime and giving evidence in prosecutions.
10. As competition between organised criminal groups increases, power struggles are likely to be replaced by mergers to capitalise on resources, maximise profit potential and counter increased sophisticated investigation techniques.
11. Law enforcement knowledge of the extent of Asian organised crime is limited by the extent to which Asian communities have trust in those law enforcement agencies.

7.7 On the investigative front, the NCA has had considerable success in tackling Chinese organised crime. As at 30 June 1994 there had been 97 persons charged with a total of 218 charges as a result of investigations under NCA Matter Two (Iliad - the original Chinese organised crime reference). note#184 In addition 33 people had been charged with 130 offences as a result of NCA investigations and joint task force operations under Matter Eighteen (the updated and broadened version of Matter Two). note#185 Reflecting the broader nature of Matter Eighteen, some of those charged as a result of investigations under it are from Vietnamese criminal groups. note#186 As at 30 June 1993, $4,384,869 in assessments and penalties had been issued by the Australian Taxation Office and ten million dollars in assets remained frozen, all as a result of investigations under Matter Two. note#187 In 1993-94, pecuniary penalties and forfeiture orders totalling $16,435,762 were issued under Matter Eighteen. note#188

7.8 The Committee was told by the NCA Chairperson, Mr Sherman, in April 1992 that the NCA had not done any major intelligence-gathering exercises on the yakuza. note#189 The main Australian agencies with expertise on the yakuza have been the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission. In December 1992, the CJC and the Queensland Police established a Joint Organised Crime Task Force. note#190 Several of the operations of this task force have related to the yakuza. note#191

7.9 As noted in paragraph above, the Report of the Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements recommended that the NCA have 'a strategic and/or coordination role' in respect of eleven matters, one of which was 'Yakuza groups'. The Government has accepted this recommendation. It remains to be seen how deeply involved in this particular matter the NCA becomes.

1. See Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, Who Is To Guard The Guards?: An Evaluation of the National Crime Authority, Canberra, November 1991, pp. 163-181 for discussion on the provision of more information to the public by the Authority.

2. United Kingdom, National Criminal Intelligence Service, Briefing Paper, "An Outline Assessment of the Threat and Impact by Organised/Enterprise Crime upon United Kingdom Interests".

3. European Parliament, Session Documents, Report drawn up by the Committee of Inquiry into the spread of organized crime linked to drugs trafficking in the Member States of the European Community (Patrick Cooney, Rapporteur), 23 April 1992.

4. See for example United States Senate, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Recent Developments in Transnational Crime Affecting U.S. Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, Hearings, 21 April 1994 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994), p. 123 where Bill Olson, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Narcotics and a Fellow at the National Strategy Centre set out what he regarded as five major characteristics of international organised crime:

... Fifth, such groups are generally ethnically based. This is a particular advantage when groups begin to operate beyond their original homes or in multi-ethnic societies. By relying on a closed community of people who speak the same language and have cultural clues about identity that outsiders cannot penetrate easily, such groups developed added protection against penetration by law enforcement.

5. Australian Federal Police, Annual Report 1992-93, p. 58. See also "Police follow drug trail to Russia", Canberra Times, 24 July 1993, p. 16.

6. See Review of Commonwealth Law Enforcement Arrangements, February 1994, AGPS, Canberra, paras. 4.56 - 4.59 for a brief description. See also "Australia the main target for Lebanese drug exports", Australian, 29 March 1994 (reporting claim by Lebanese Interior Ministry referring to cannabis and cocaine, as well as heroin).

7. See for example the evidence of the United States Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Robert S. Mueller, before the US Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, Asian Organized Crime, Hearing, 6 November 1991 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1992), p. 167:

Let me speak for a moment about the Asian organized crime problem in this country. It, in essence, consists of 4 major groups: first, Chinese organized crime, including triads, criminally-influenced tongs, and street gangs; second, the Japanese criminal society known as the Boryokudan, or "Yakuza"; third, Vietnamese organized crime, which largely consists of street gangs; and, lastly, Korean gangs, some of which are closely associated with the Boryokudan.

8. For two recent contributions see: P. Dickie and P. Wilson, "Defining Organised Crime: An Operational Perspective", Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1993, p. 215; and D. Greaves and S. Pinto, "Redefining Organised Crime: Commentary on a Recent Paper by Phil Dickie and Paul Wilson", Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 5, no. 2, November 1993, p. 218.

9. National Crime Authority, Corporate Plan July 1993 - June 1996, AGPS, Canberra, 1993, p. 22.

10. G. Wardlaw, "Conceptual Frameworks of Organised Crime Useful Tools or Academic Irrelevancies?", paper delivered at the Australian Institute of Criminology's Organised Crime Conference, Canberra, 5-7 September 1989, p. 4.

11. See for example, para. 4.38 below and "Triads strike on gold cards", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 23 October 1994, p. 34. See also United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), pp. 44-45 (footnote omitted):

Losses resulting from counterfeit credit card activity have risen dramatically over the past few years. Technological innovations during the mid-1980's managed to stem a previous spurt of counterfeiting, but the criminal sophistication of Chinese criminal groups based in Hong Kong has led to a notable resurgence of credit card counterfeiting in the past few years. Hong Kong-based counterfeiting rings were responsible for as much as 40 percent of the total worldwide counterfeit credit card losses of about $200 million in 1991. While much of the actual counterfeiting is done in such locales as Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, the counterfeit cards are now being used in Europe, Australia, and North America as well.

12. See para. 5.12 below in the context of discussion of Vietnamese street gangs.

13. G. Wardlaw, D. McDowell and J. Schmidt, Australia's Illegal Drug Problem: A Strategic Intelligence Assessment, (A paper prepared by The Criminal Environment Assessment Unit), April 1991, Attorney-General's Department, Canberra, para. 5.11.

14. Australian Federal Police, "Australia's Relations with Thailand: An AFP Perspective", September 1994 (a submission from the AFP to the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade), p. 4.

15. "Chinese Triads behind '86 pc of heroin seized'", Australian, 13 July 1988, p. 3. Note that the headline uses the figure 86% while the body of the story uses 96%.

16. G. Wardlaw, D. McDowell and J. Schmidt, Australia's Illegal Drug Problem: A Strategic Intelligence Assessment, (A paper prepared by The Criminal Environment Assessment Unit), April 1991, Attorney-General's Department, Canberra, para. 5.35.

17. "Asian crime gangs lead heroin imports", The Weekend Australian, 20-21 November 1993, p. 3

18. New South Wales, Report of the New South Wales Crime Commission for the year ended 30 June 1993, p. 16.

19. Australian Federal Police, "Australia's Relations with Thailand: An AFP Perspective", September 1994 (a submission from the AFP to the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade), p. 4.

20. New South Wales, Report of the Crime Commission for the year ended 30 June 1992, para. 2.76.

21. G. Wardlaw, D. McDowell and J. Schmidt, Australia's Illegal Drug Problem: A Strategic Intelligence Assessment, (A paper prepared by The Criminal Environment Assessment Unit), April 1991, Attorney-General's Department, Canberra, para. 5.40.

22. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), pp. 3-6, 10-11.

23. United States Senate, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Recent Developments in Transnational Crime Affecting U.S. Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, Hearings, 20 April 1994 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994), p. 7.

24. Text of a public statement, 22 June 1988, reproduced in the NCA's Annual Report 1987-88, p. 66.

25. ABC TV, 7.30 Report, 24 October 1988 (transcript, p. 5).

26. For example, see "Chinese Triads behind '86 pc of heroin seized'", Australian, 13 July 1988, p. 3; "The story of a Chinese mafia", Melbourne Herald, 23 August 1988, p. 13; "The day of the Triads: Hong Kong's gangs move in on Australia", Newsweek, 8 November 1988.

27. "Big Circle Gang a maverick group", The Age, 13 May 1989, p. 4.

28. Channel Nine, Sixty Minutes, 23 June 1991 (transcript, p. 2).

29. "How Australian cops snared the triad's diplomat couriers", Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 1991, p. 45; "The Asian Connection" The Bulletin, 2 April 1991, p. 86.

30. "The Asian Connection" The Bulletin, 2 April 1991, pp. 86, 87.

31. "Police report predicts rise in Asian crime", The Age, 10 August 1992, p. 1.

32. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), pp. 9, 10, 11.

33. "Triads linked to Australia", West Australian, 7 September 1994, p. 7 citing "FBI documents".

34. "Police tell of triad push", Herald Sun, 14 September 1994, p. 10.

35. See for example R.J. Kelly, Ko-Lin Chin and J.A. Fagan, "The dragon breathes fire: Chinese organized crime in New York City", Crime, Law and Social Change, vol. 19, 1993, p. 258: "By emulating Triad initiation rites and internalizing Triad norms and values, they [gang members] can claim a certain traditional legitimacy within their communities. This folkloric benediction elevates them above the kind of simple street thug and enables them to instill a level of fear that no other ethnic gangs can match."

36. "Cut out the theatrics, 'good' Triad tells police", Australian, 19 November 1988, p. 4.

37. Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, in camera Hansard, 27 November 1992, p. 87.

38. "Terror as Asian gangs rule the streets", Sun-Herald, 30 May 1993, pp. 12-13.

39. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), p. 29.

40. More recent reports suggest that there has been a significant shift in the trafficking route, with only about half the heroin traffic passing through Thailand, with a significant proportion now going through China: "Pusher With A Cause", Far Eastern Economic Review, 20 January 1994, p. 26.

41. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, Asian Organized Crime: The New International Criminal, Hearing, 4 August 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1992), pp. 67-68 (Evidence of D. Cohen, Associate Deputy Director for Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency).

42. NCA, Shamrock Report, April 1991 quoted in a paper by the NCA Intelligence Branch, Progress Report to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority on the Chinese Organised Crime National Initiative, December 1992, para. 11.

43. ibid., para. 16.

44. P. Dickie and P. Wilson, "Defining Organised Crime: An Operational Perspective", Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1993, p. 222.

45. I. Dobinson, "Pinning a Tail on the Dragon: The Chinese and the International Heroin Trade", Crime & Delinquency, vol. 39, no. 3, July 1993, p. 374.

46. ibid.

47. paras. 4.48 to 4.50.

48. para. 4.37.

49. para. 7.50(4).

50. United States Senate, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Recent Developments in Transnational Crime Affecting U.S. Law Enforcement and Foreign Relations, Hearings, 20 April 1994 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994), p. 81 (prepared statement, incorporated in the transcript, of James Frier, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Division, FBI). The statement also lists yakuza gangs and eurasian gangs (ie. from the former Soviet Union). Later in the statement (p. 83) the term "multi-ethnic Asian drug trafficking organizations" is expanded:

These groups are often comprised of Chinese, Thai and other Asian criminals, who frequently use their current or past membership in Triads, criminally-influenced Tongs, or gangs to facilitate their activities. These loosely organized groups are global in nature and scope, and are involved in the production, transportation, distribution, and money laundering aspects of international heroin trafficking.

51. Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, in camera Hansard, 3 June 1988, p. 578.

52. "Fear of gang ties to prostitution", Advertiser, 22 September 1994, p. 9.

53. G. Wardlaw, D. McDowell and J. Schmidt, Australia's Illegal Drug Problem: A Strategic Intelligence Assessment, (A paper prepared by The Criminal Environment Assessment Unit), April 1991, Attorney-General's Department, Canberra, para. 5.27.

54. See Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Drug Intelligence Assessment 1993, p. 35.

55. ibid., p. 38.

56. See "Arrests, drug seizure have hurt gang: police", West Australian, 24 September 1994, p. 31; "WA gateway for heroin", Sunday Times, 25 September 1994, pp. 1, 2; and "Massive hauls of high-grade heroin", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 25 September 1994, pp. 12-13. A report subsequent to completion of this discussion paper indicated that the heroin was originally destined for Canada, and a last-minute change of destination by the ship resulted in the heroin coming to Australia: "Heroin trio face life in jail", West Australian, 10 December 1994, p. 6.

57. "Chinese import drug, Romanians control it", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 13 February 1994, p. 13.

58. "Triads linked to Australia", West Australian, 7 September 1994, p. 4.

59. Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, in camera Hansard, 3 June 1988, p. 578.

60. "Triads linked to Australia", West Australian, 7 September 1994, p. 4.

61. NCA, Annual Report 1993-94, p. 30.

62. "CJC probes ethnic links to cocaine, heroin", The Weekend Australian, 1-2 January 1994, p. 3.

63. "Cheap Asian heroin blamed for deaths", West Australian, 8 September 1994, p. 10.

64. See for example, NCA, Annual Report 1987-88, p. 66 (report of 22 June 1988 public statement by the NCA's Chairperson, Justice D. Stewart); M. Booth, The Triads, Grafton Books, London, 1990, pp. 137-38, 148-49; "Police report predicts rise in Asian crime", The Age, 10 August 1992, p. 1.

65. See for example, United States Senate, Committee on the Judiciary and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, U.S. International Drug Policy - Asian Gangs, Heroin and the Drug Trade, Joint Hearing, 21 August 1990, p. 16 (statement of R.M. Bryant, FBI):

One theory puts forth the idea that the triads will basically leave Hong Kong and come to other countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, whatever. The second theory held by the Royal Hong Kong Police is that they will remain in Hong Kong and exist under the People's Republic of China.

66. "Crackdown urged on rising organised crime", South China Morning Post 29 November 1994, p. 16. See also "Criminals know no boundaries", Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 1994, p. 15:

67. "Police warn on Viet gangs", Sydney Morning Herald, 2 January 1988, p. 1. See also for example, "Call to probe Vietnamese crime gangs", The Age, 28 December 1987, pp. 1, 5; "Gang violence outbreak hits Vietnamese family", Sydney Morning Herald, 9 January 1990, p. 1; "Police report predicts rise in Asian crime", The Age, 10 August 1992, p. 1.

68. "The Asian Connection" The Bulletin, 2 April 1991, p. 87.

69. See for example, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, 1993 Organized Crime Committee Report, Ottawa, 1993, pp. 50-53.

70. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), p. 13.

71. "Police report predicts rise in Asian crime", The Age, 10 August 1992, p. 1.

72. "Fear of gang ties to prostitution", Advertiser, 22 September 1994, p. 9.

73. See for example, United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Commission on Narcotic Drugs, 37th Session, General Debate: Examination of the World Situation with Respect to Drug Abuse, Including Illicit Demand, Illicit Trafficking and Illicit Supply, Reports of Subsidiary Bodies, 15 February 1994 (E/CN.7/1994/10), para. 30.

74. "Triads linked to Australia", West Australian, 7 September 1994, p. 4.

75. "Viet gangs take over heroin trade", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 24 April 1994, p. 33.

76. "Police hit Asian link to crime", Courier-Mail, 23 May 1994, p. 6.

77. For subsequent reports of arrests relating to this group see "Six on heroin counts", Courier-Mail, 17 September 1994, p. 14; "15 held after Jupiters drugs bust", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 18 September 1994, p. 29.

78. For three recent examples, see "Vietnam jails Australian for smuggling", Canberra Times, 29 January 1994, p. 3 (Australian of Vietnamese origin arrested at Ho Chi Minh City airport on departure for Australia carrying 688 grams of heroin); "15 held after Jupiters drugs bust", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 18 September 1994, p. 29 (two Vietnamese arrested at Sydney airport trying to smuggle half a kilo of heroin concealed in their shoes); and "Airport drug arrest", Canberra Times, 2 October 1994, p. 2 (Australian of Vietnamese descent arrested at Ho Chi Minh City airport about to board a flight to Australia carrying 100 grams of heroin).

79. See "Five in court over $24 mil heroin haul", The Age, 25 November 1994, p. 2. See also Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, 1993 Organized Crime Committee Report, Ottawa, 1993, p. 49 for a report of arrests of members of a Vietnamese group in relation to 10 kg of heroin destined for shipment from Vietnam to Canada.

80. It is said that "5T" represent the Vietnamese words tinh (love or sex), tien (money), tu (prison), toi (crime) and thu or tra (revenge): "How gangs hide secret signs", Sun-Herald, 11 September 1994, p. 2. Mr John Newman, MLA gave a slightly different version, saying the fourth T stood for "death" and the fifth T for "conviction" or "charge": NSW, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 15 March 1994, p. 738.

81. Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Drug Intelligence Assessment 1993, p. 40.

82. NSW Police Chief Inspector Alan Leek quoted in "Free rein for plaza drug trade", West Australian, 22 September 1994, p. 14.

83. "Ethnic gangs easy targets", Bulletin, 20 September 1994, p. 26.

84. See for example, "Out of Asia", Courier-Mail, 8 September 1994, p. 9, where an unnamed senior police officer is quoted as saying:

Everyone is geared towards the Kings Cross drugs market, but the fact is that these [Asian] gangs have taken over, simply by providing a superior product at the same price to a bigger market. ... It is a huge market out there in the suburbs and the gang members have cornered it in a matter of years.

85. United States, House of Representatives, Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1995, part 2B, Department of Justice, 19 April 1994, (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994), p. 592 (Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration). In 1980 the average purity level being sold on the streets of the United States was 3.6%. By 1992 the retail price had declined markedly and the average purity had risen to 27.6%, with the average purity for New York City being 48.4%: see United States, House of Representatives, Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, Update on the Heroin Control Strategy and Domestic Heroin Consumption, Hearing, 9 June 1992, (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1992), p. 43 (Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration). By 1994, the average street purity in the United States was reported to be 65%: "Heroin Finds a New Market Along Cutting Edge of Style", New York Times, 8 May 1994, p. A14.

86. "Nine arrested as death toll mounts", Times (London), 22 January 1994, p. 7: high-purity (60% plus) heroin appearing on British streets as a result of rivalry between dealers.

87. In Western Australia, for example: "Cheap Asian heroin blamed for deaths", West Australian, 8 September 1994, p. 10 (12 heroin related deaths in Perth in the previous two months).

88. Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Drug Intelligence Assessment 1993, p. 37.

89. These are cases in which a gang enters while the residents are at home and assaults and robs them. A report in the Sun-Herald on 30 May 1993, p.12, "Terror as Asian gangs rule the streets", stated that "in the past 12 months, 34 Asian families have been tied up and assaulted in their Sydney homes, most in Cabramatta".

90. Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Drug Intelligence Assessment 1993, p. 40.

91. "Young police win heroin war", Sun-Herald, 26 September 1993, p. 21.

92. NSW Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 15 March 1994, p. 737 (Mr John Newman).

93. ibid., pp. 737-38 and giving the Trai Lu Lac gang as an example. Another report says some 15 gangs have been identified, including ones called Sing Ma, Wan Hop Ho and the Asian Invasion: "Out of Asia", Courier-Mail, 8 September 1994, p. 9.

94. "Ethnic gangs easy targets", Bulletin, 20 September 1994, p. 26.

95. Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Drug Intelligence Assessment 1993, p. 40.

96. "Scrutiny sends gangs underground", Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 1994.

97. Compare: "In both Northern and Southern California, ethnic Chinese organized crime groups often use young members of Vietnamese street gangs to protect gambling dens, extort merchants and conduct home invasion robberies": United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), p. 24.

98. "Death of a 'difficult man'", Sunday Age, 11 September 1994, p. News 15; Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Drug Intelligence Assessment 1993, p. 40.

99. Quoted in "Ethnic gangs easy targets", Bulletin, 20 September 1994, p. 26.

100. NSW, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 15 March 1994, p. 738.

101. "Ethnic gangs easy targets", Bulletin, 20 September 1994, p. 26 (quoting Mr Cuong Nguyen of the Bankstown Multicultural Youth Service).

102. See for example, "Terror gangs target Asians", West Australian, 6 March 1993; "Vietnamese gangs a major worry: NCA", The Age, 7 September 1994, p. 9; "Murder fear in break-ins", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 20 November 1994, p. 31.

103. "Home invasion inquiry likely after latest raid", Sydney Morning Herald, 18 October 1994, p. 18.

104. NSW, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 27 October 1994, p. 4862.

105. "Gang raids: the terror that waits at home", Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November 1994, p. 27.

106. "Murder fear in break-ins", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 20 November 1994, p. 31.

107. "Death of a 'difficult man'", Sunday Age, 11 September 1994, p. News 15.

108 See for example, NSW, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 13 May 1994, p. 2825 (answer to a Parliamentary Question, saying statistics not available).

109. G. Wardlaw, D. McDowell and J. Schmidt, Australia's Illegal Drug Problem: A Strategic Intelligence Assessment, (A paper prepared by The Criminal Environment Assessment Unit), April 1991, Attorney-General's Department, Canberra, para. 5.39.

110. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), pp. 14-17 (most footnotes omitted).

111. Ya-Ku-Sa is the number 8-9-3 in Japanese and is a losing hand in a popular Japanese card game. Thus, Yakuza translates roughly to "loser". The Boryokudan have cultivated their "underdog" image over the years and have used it to elicit a degree of sympathy from the Japanese public. (footnote in original)

112. See para. 6.5 below for differing estimates of the numbers of yakuza.

113. A Federal Bureau of Investigation officer told a United States Senate subcommittee hearing in 1991: "You have to understand that ethnic Koreans make up 15 percent of the Boryokudan in Japan so the relationship between the two countries and the criminal element is very close at this time". See Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, Asian Organized Crime, Hearing, 3 October 1991 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1992), p. 21. (footnote added)

114. Inami Shinnosuke, "Going After the Yakuza", Japan Quarterly, July-September 1992, p. 354.

115. ibid., p. 355.

116. See the organisation chart of the Yamaguchi-gumi in "Clash of loyalties: complex structure makes for loose control", Far Eastern Economic Review, 21 November 1991, p. 30 and the accompanying description.

117. The legislation contains a formula under which the percentage varies according to the size of the gang. For an organisation of 50-54 people, it is 12 per cent: "Legal conduct: New laws unlikely to curb Yakuza", Far Eastern Economic Review, 21 November 1991, p. 34. For a 1,000-member gang the percentage is 4.11 per cent, and for a 3 or 4 member gang it is 66.67 per cent: "Japan's yakuza mobsters gun down bankers", Sunday Times (London), 25 September 1994, section 2, p. 9. The formula is said in practice to favour larger gangs, who find it easier to retire the necessary number of members with criminal records.

118. This paragraph is largely based on Inami Shinnosuke, "Going After the Yakuza", Japan Quarterly, July-September 1992, pp. 354, 356.

119. "Yakuza Storming the Corporate Ship", Tokyo Business Today, vol. 62, no. 4, April 1994, p. 46.

120. "Japan's yakuza mobsters gun down bankers", Sunday Times (London), 25 September 1994, section 2, p. 9.

121. Gang membership had in any event been declining. It peaked in 1963 at 184,000 members: United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), p. 18.

122. "Yakuza Storming the Corporate Ship", Tokyo Business Today, vol. 62, no. 4, April 1994, p. 46. A 1993 source stated: "Although there are fewer official gang members now - 56,000 compared to 63,800 a year ago - the total number of people associated with gang groups has held steady at around 90,600": see "Underworld Mergers: Hard times force yakuza gangs to pool resources", Far Eastern Economic Review, 12 August 1993, p. 19.

123. See "Crime Shoguns under siege", Sydney Morning Herald, 19 May 1993, p. 15 where figures of 56,600 full-time and 34,000 'associate' or part-time yakuza members in 3,490 gangs are given: "by comparison, at its height in America, the Mafia is reckoned to have had no more than 5,000 full-time members in 24 'families'".

124. "Underworld Mergers: Hard times force yakuza gangs to pool resources", Far Eastern Economic Review, 12 August 1993, p. 19.

125. Australian Associated Press's on-line news service, 30 November 1994, "Tougher times produce leaner, meaner underworld in Japan".

126. See "Feeding on the system: Gangsters play increasing role in business and politics", Far Eastern Economic Review, 21 November 1991, pp. 28-30, which emphasises the two-way relationship between yakuza and legitimate business, such as real estate developers using yakuza to induce recalcitrant land owners and tenants to vacate land targeted for development, and banks using yakuza to assist with non-performing loans.

127. "Japan's crime links", Sydney Morning Herald, 30 September 1994, p. 24.

128. See for example, "Japan's organised crime sets sights on Australia", The Age, 17 June 1987, p.5; "Japanese crime gangs have an eye on Australia", Sun-Herald, 3 July 1988, p. 28; "Police say yakuza inquiries blocked", Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 1991, p. 5.

129. "Yakuza on mission to find prey", West Australian, 15 May 1993, p. 7.

130. "Japanese gangsters here: secret report", The Weekend Australian, 7-8 August 1993, p.1.

131. Australian Federal Police, "Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Inquiry into Australia's Visa System for Visitors", September 1994, p. 3.

132. See for example, "Japan's organised crime sets sights on Australia", The Age, 17 June 1987, p. 5: "Police have already identified a series of visits by at least six members of the hierarchy of the Yakuza gangs".

133. "Yakuza opens branch offices in Australia: Japan's gang-busting laws have forced organised crime offshore", Australian Financial Review, 21 March 1994, p. 2. An earlier media report said that estimates varied between "about twenty" and "more than a couple of hundred" each year: see "Yakuza playground: Crime lords visit our sunny shores", Courier-Mail, 10 May 1993, p. 7.

134. "Yakuza opens branch offices in Australia: Japan's gang-busting laws have forced organised crime offshore", Australian Financial Review, 21 March 1994, p. 2.

135. See for example, "Yakuza members visited NT casino", West Australian, 17 January 1991, p. 12 (group of 14 Japanese gamblers lost about $1m at Burswood Casino and a group of three lost $200,000 at the Darwin Casino); "Japanese crime chiefs 'enticed' to Qld casino", Advertiser, 8 March 1991, p. 12 (alleged yakuza boss accompanied by bodyguards had an estimated $1m in cash in his possession during each of several casino visits); "Japanese residents questioned in crusade against crime bosses", Australian, 28 December 1993, p. 3 ($700,000 used by yakuza visitor to buy gambling chips, which were allegedly cashed for the entire amount the next day).

136. See for example, "Terror of Tokyo reaches down under", Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 1991, p. 39; "New rules keep out foreign gangs: Yakuza, Mafia and triads foiled", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 24 November 1991, p. 11; "Jupiters linked to gang", Courier-Mail, 12 May 1993, p. 1; Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 12 March 1991, pp. 6617, 6623, 6624, 6634-35.

137. "Police say yakuza inquiries blocked", Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 1991, p. 5.

137A. In the printed version of this discussion paper, the intelligence report was erroneously described as being from the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.

138. Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 26 November 1992, p. 1071; and Senate, Hansard, 26 November 1992, pp. 3729-31.

139. To conserve space, the section on drugs in this ABCI report has not been reproduced, as it contains no claims or information on yakuza drug-related activity in Australia.

140. The Annexure was not included with the document incorporated in the Senate Hansard.

141. It seems that the basis of the claim of intimidation was, in part, no more than "the assertion that a particular Japanese visitor was believed to be a member of the Yakuza because he behaved in an arrogant fashion whilst in a certain shop": Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 26 November 1992, p. 1071.

142. "Daikyo probe demanded", Courier-Mail, 17 September 1992, p. 1; "Goss knew casino bid yakuza link: Nats", Australian, 27 November 1992, p. 5. See also Senate, Hansard, 7 October 1992, p. 1275.

143. Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 26 November 1992, p. 1071. See also Senate, Hansard, 7 October 1992, p. 1287: "AFP investigations have not linked a senior executive of Daikyo with a high-ranked Yakuza member".

144. "Police probe reports of crime gang's casino bid", The Age, 14 February 1992, p. 5.

145. Senate, Hansard, 30 August 1993, p. 467.

146. "Yakuza on mission to find prey", West Australian, 15 May 1993, p. 7. See also "Rich Japanese hit by scam", Gold Coast Bulletin, 22 July 1992, pp. 1, 2 for another report of what appears to be the same incident.

147. "New rules keep out foreign gangs: Yakuza, Mafia and Triads foiled", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 24 November 1991, p. 11.

148. "Former gang member arrested", Canberra Times, 11 May 1991, p. 16; "Closer visa check rejected", Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 1991, p. 8.

149. "Yakuza playground: Crime lords visit our sunny shores", Courier-Mail, 10 May 1993, p. 7.

150. "Closer visa check rejected", Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 1991, p. 8; "Missing finger loses favour", West Australian, 15 May 1993, p. 6.

151. "Yakuza opens branch offices in Australia: Japan's gang-busting laws have forced organised crime offshore", Australian Financial Review, 21 March 1994, p. 2.

152. "Six jailed for heroin smuggling", Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 1994. See also "Japanese heroin runner gets 25 years", Weekend Australian, 11-12 June 1994, p. 5: "A Japanese man with past connections to the notorious Yakuza ...".

153. "Customs picks the 'mules' among tourists", Sunday Age, 29 May 1994, p. 12.

154. ibid. An earlier media report stated that "The AFP has already cracked a joint Yakuza/Triad narcotics ring in Melbourne" but gave no further details: "Call to corral Yakuza gangs", Sun-Herald, 21 November 1993, p. 3. It seems this may be a (somewhat overstated) reference to the Katsuno case.

155. "Japanese residents questioned in crusade against crime bosses", Australian, 28 December 1993, p. 3.

156. "Japan's gangsters here: secret report", Weekend Australian, 7-8 August 1993, p. 6.

157. The Committee has seen additional confidential material on alleged yakuza activities in Australia. This material contains reports of yakuza visits and allegations of yakuza activity in Australia that have not been reported in the media. However the material is similar in kind to that which has been publicly reported. It therefore provides no basis for reaching different conclusions to those which can be reached from the publicly available material.

158. ABC Radio, P.M., 31 August 1990.

159. Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 13 March 1991, p. 6744.

160. "Probe to reveal Asian gangs" and "Dealing with the low hands", both in Courier-Mail, 23 April 1992.

161. For a claim that yakuza members, operating individually and not as a group, were involved in recruiting under-age girls to work as prostitutes catering to visiting Japanese on the Gold Coast see a story carried by Australian Associated Press's on-line news service on 13 February 1992, "Yakuza men run child brothels on Gold Coast: Lifeline man". The story provided no evidence to support the claim that any of the Japanese said to be involved were yakuza members.

162. Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, in camera Hansard, 27 April 1992, p. 44.

163. Senate, Hansard, 7 October 1992, p. 1287.

164. "'Only a matter of time' before Australia becomes a major target", Courier-Mail, 8 May 1993, p. 29.

165. P. Dickie and P. Wilson, "Defining Organised Crime: An Operational Perspective", Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1993, p. 223.

166. "Yakuza: why we should fear the Japanese mafia", Herald-Sun, 11 May 1991, p. 13.

167. See "Police curtail watch on yakuza", Australian, 20 February 1993, p. 3, where this view is attributed to "some officials".

168. Compare the unsuccessful attempts at this sort of activity against United States corporations in the early 1980s: see the quote in para. 6.1 above.

169. National Crime Authority, Taken to the Cleaners: Money Laundering in Australia, vol. 1, December 1991, p. 52. The Queensland Criminal Justice Commission in 1993 withdrew suggestions it made in an August 1991 CJC report that Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast was used by criminals to launder money: "CJC to apologise for blunder over casino 'crime link'", Weekend Australian, 3-4 April 1993, p. 5.

170. Although the detailed procedures vary from casino to casino, no Australian casino will issue a cheque marked 'winnings' unless it is convinced from the observations of its staff and its own accounting records that the sum in question was indeed won. A gambler may change a large amount of cash into gambling chips. However, the casino will only exchange these chips back again for either cash or a cheque marked 'non-winnings'. In addition, casinos are subject to the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988. Under this Act, they are required to report cash transactions of $10,000 or more (whether in Australian or foreign currency) and to report 'suspect transactions' as defined in the Act.

171. Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 14 May 1993, p. 2815.

172. National Crime Authority, Taken to the Cleaners: Money Laundering in Australia, vol. 1, December 1991, p. 74.

173. ibid., p. 80.

174. Queensland, Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Debates, 13 March 1991, p. 6741 (Hon R.J. Gibbs, Minister for Tourism).

175. The case has been extensively publicised. See for example, I. Dobinson, "Pinning a Tail on the Dragon: The Chinese and the International Heroin Trade", Crime & Delinquency, vol. 39, no. 3, July 1993, p. 374; Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Annual Report 1993-94, pp. 17-18, 68; "Dirty Laundry", Australian, 1 September 1993, p. 11; "Law's millions and the Oz connection", Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September 1993, p. 26; "Dirty hands clean up in money game", Business Review Weekly, 15 August 1994, pp. 28-29.

176. United States Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, The New International Criminal and Asian Organized Crime, Report, December 1992 (US Gov. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993), p. 39.

177. ibid.

178. "Yakuza opens branch offices in Australia: Japan's gang-busting laws have forced organised crime offshore", Australian Financial Review, 21 March 1994, p. 2.

179. NCA, Annual Report 1991-92, p. 21.

180. It is now Commonwealth Reference 17 (issued 26 May 1994). See NCA, Annual Report 1993-94, pp. 29-30.

181. Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, Third Report, November 1989, para. 1.17.

182. NCA, Annual Report 1991-92, p. 21.

183. NCA, Annual Report 1993-94, p. 29.

184. ibid., p. 38.

185. NCA, Annual Report 1993-94, p. 38.

186. See the table listing those charged under Matter Eighteen in the NCA's Annual Report 1993-94, pp. 96-97.

187. NCA, Annual Report 1992-93, p. 40.

188. NCA, Annual Report 1993-94, p. 31.

189. Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, in camera Hansard, 27 April 1992, p. 43.

190. Queensland, Criminal Justice Commission, Annual Report 1993-94, p. 34.

191. See for a brief description "The Commish: CJC under siege: Keeping score", Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 27 February 1994, p. 57.