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Proceeds of crime returned to China.



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SENATOR THE HON DAVID JOH NSTON MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CUSTOMS

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 7260 Facsimile: (02) 6273 7098 www.ministerjusticeandcustoms.gov.au

018/07 7 th of June 2007

PROCEEDS OF CRIME RETURNED TO CHINA

The Aus tralian Government today presented the People’s Republic of China with confiscated proceeds of crime worth over $3.37 million.

“It gives me great pleasure to repatriate these proceeds o f crime to the People’s Republic of China,” Minister for Justice and Customs, Senat or David Johnston said.

“This demonstrates the strength of cooperative efforts by the Australia n and Chinese Governments in combating transnational crime.

“The Australian Federal Police have built an excellent relationship with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, and I am very encouraged by their ongoing success in our priority areas of transnational crime.”

Areas of priority for Australia in terms of transnational cr ime include people smuggling, economic crime, economic fugitives , terrorism and narcotics.

Senator Johnston met today with the Chinese Vice -Minister for Public Security, Zhang Xinfeng, and presented a cheque for $3.37 million at a special ceremony at the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Sydney Headquarters.

In 2005, the AFP identified Australian bank accounts opened by a Chinese national in a false name, and commenced restraining action on the funds under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 .

AFP Deputy Commiss ioner Operations, Peter Drennan, said $3.37 million was forfeited to the Commonwealth on 29 November 2006 as a result of civil forfeiture proceedings that could only be undertaken after valuable assistance was received from Chinese authorities.

“This matt er is an excellent example of how inte rnational cooperation between law enforcement agencies can not only combat transnational crime, but ensure that criminals do not have the opportunity to profit from ille gal activities,” Deputy Commissioner Drennan said .

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 provides for the repatriation of restrained funds. Under the equitable sharing program, the Minister for Justice and Customs has discretion to return funds to a foreign country in recognition of assistance lead ing to the r ecovery of the funds.

Media inquiries: Chris Wagner 0409 081 916