Trident Task Force funding extended

The Trident Task Force will be better equipped to address organised and serious crime activities in the maritime environment following today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Government of a $4 million funding boost.

Trident Task Force was set up in July 2012 as a multi-agency task force consisting of members from Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Australian Transactions Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC).

The primary aim of the task force is to detect, deter and disrupt serious and organised crime on the State’s waterfront and the results of operations conducted since its inception are indicative of the success of Trident.

Operational results include 42 prosecutions, the seizure of 32.5kgs of ICE, 71.7 tonnes of tobacco leaf and 69 million cigarette sticks. Investigators have also located and seized a machine gun, four pistols and more than $243,000 and restrained property to the value of $19.5 million.

A key focus of the task force is to build relationships with industry stakeholders and the response across the maritime industry has been extremely positive with joint recognition of the benefit of the removal of the organised crime threat from the waterfront.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the funding will enable the Trident Task Force to expand its focus which will ultimately benefit Victoria.

“Victoria Police are very happy with the announcement today of a $4 million funding boost by the Federal Government,” said DC Patton.

“This funding will enable investigators to be in a better position to detect the source of the importation and therefore stop the importation of illicit substances before they reach Australian shores.

“This will have a flow on effect and be mutually beneficial to private industry, the State economy and the safety and prosperity of all Victorians.

“We will continue to focus on creating the most hostile environment we can to ensure organised crime is not able to exist in the Victorian maritime environment.”

AFP State Manager, Victoria, Commander John Beveridge said the Trident Task Force would continue to work towards identifying significant vulnerabilities in the port supply chain.

“We will continue to liaise with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to detect and disrupt the importation of drugs and other illicit commodities into Australia,” Commander Beveridge said.

“Organised criminal networks operate across borders so it is vital for us to work together.”

ABF Deputy Commissioner Michael Outram, said the Task Force will continue to disrupt organised crime syndicates attempting to circumvent border controls in the maritime environment in Victoria.

“The ABF and our partners would like to send a strong message to anyone involved in organised crime that the maritime border in Victoria will not be an easy gateway for your activities.” Deputy Commissioner Outram said.

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