BIKIES have teamed up with Nigerian crime syndicates to launder offshore money in real estate, shares, and bonds in an illicit drugs-for-cash racket out of Papua New Guinea.
Australia’s Border Protection Minister, Scott Morrison, has flagged talks with PNG on an anti-corruption partnership to tackle transnational crime syndicates in PNG.
Mr Morrison last week flew over Australia’s “blind spot” in the Torres Strait Islands up to Boigu and Saibai, 6km from the PNG mainland.
PNG has become a magnet to crime gangs in the $2 billion-a-year ice market.
West African and Chinese organised crime gangs operating out of Port Moresby are behind the illicit drug trade using electronic business transfers, negotiable bearer bonds, and undeclared cash to pay for shipments.
Real estate investments in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have also been linked to the money trail.
Organised crime gangs were attracted to PNG because of the ready availability of bulk precursors used to cook crystal methamphetamine, or ice.
Latest Customs intelligence shows that gangs which have gone offshore under the bikie crackdown in Queensland include Rebels, Bandidos, Odin’s Warriors and Outlaws.
In May and June last year, two undeclared cash remittances of $140,000 were detected at Cairns airport.
Mr Morrison said covert surveillance observed bikie kingpins, who have a presence in Queensland’s far north and facilitate trafficking, travelling to PNG before those remittances.