JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
The Hon Peter Dutton MP - Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
The Hon Michael Keenan MP - Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism
Australian law enforcement officers have delivered another blow in their continued efforts to protect Australia’s national security, detecting more than $400,000 in undeclared excess currency at Melbourne International Airport.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism Michael Keenan commended the combined efforts of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), which resulted in significant undeclared currency detections and a number of ongoing investigations into suspected criminal activity.
“This cooperation between our agencies is reducing the risks presented by Australian-based individuals who support terrorist activities through the illicit movement of currency out of Australia,” Mr Dutton said.
“The three-week operation, which concluded late last year, contributed to the wider efforts of the Australian Government, including the ABF’s Counter-Terrorism Units, which has detected more than $8 million in undeclared excess currency at our nation’s major international airports since August 2014.
“Operation Kerlerap brought together the capabilities of a number of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to deliver an effective operational response between our intelligence agencies, law enforcement and border officers.”
Mr Keenan said terrorism financing underpins and enables the work of extremists – putting us all at risk.
“While a number of matters are the subject of ongoing investigations, the operation has already resulted in the imposition of 13 infringement notices totaling more than $6,000 in fines, and the detection and seizure of prohibited items, including, one crossbow and two electronic shock devices,” Mr Keenan said.
“These outcomes demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to stopping those attempting to support a terrorist cause, regardless of the means.”
Australians have been regularly warned against travelling to conflict areas or to associate with terrorist groups, including attempting to fund their cause.
It is a criminal offence to get funds to, from or for, provide support to and associate with members of these terrorist organisations.
Participation in these activities could result in prosecution. The maximum penalty for some of these offences is 25 years’ imprisonment.
For further information: John Wiseman 0417 498 570 (Minister Dutton)
Emily Broadbent 0400 390 008 or Shannen Wilkinson 0476 820 816 (Minister Keenan)