Category archive

Organised Crime

The Anoa Voyage

This incredibly ambitious attempt to import a huge quantity of marijuana from Thailand to Australia in 1978 remains one of the great stories of the Sydney Underworld. Keep Reading

The Askin Government by Dr Paul Loughnan

In 1981 journalist David Hickie wrote that Sir Robert Askin, Liberal premier from 1965 to 1975, had received $100,000 a year in bribes for much of that period (the equivalent of some $1 million a year today) from gambling casinos run by Perce Galea and Joe Taylor. Moreover, he had played… Keep Reading

Disorganised Crime

Reviewing the evidence from the major drug importation cases of the 1970s leads to two conclusions: (1) Australian organized crime was definitely involved in the drug traffic, and (2) it had carried its traditional milieu-style of operations into the organization of its various drug smuggling ventures. Instead of forming itself… Keep Reading

Tackling Corruption

  Whenever Australians think of corruption, they tend to identify it with police, politics and organised crime. As serious as that scenario might be, the hidden inroads of corruption go much deeper. With moves underway, at least at a federal level, to face up to the problem of corruption, its… Keep Reading

Caught In The Act

What must rank as Australia’s most sophisticated bugging exercise proved the final undoing of the Australian principals of the Lavender drug syndicate. It was carried out from a listening post in a public park. Wary of telephones, always booking plane flights in false names, seldom driving the same cars, and… Keep Reading

Grand Plans

Police sensed a major turn of events in Operation Lavender when they bugged a conversation between Stephen Nittes and an associate in a room of a Melbourne motel on 16 April 1985. With lower level distributors having been arrested, and a break in contact with the Sydney principals, Nittes and… Keep Reading

Operation Lavender

On the streets of Melbourne, Sydney and other Australian cities in early 1984, plastic packets of hashish went up for sale bearing a distinctive emblem: a cedar tree. In the trade, it has become known as Lebanese Gold. The cedar tree is Lebanon’s national symbol. What’s more, its use as… Keep Reading

A Brothel Of An Idea

If the American mafia, or Australia’s legendary ‘Mr Sin’ wanted to, they could now set up licensed brothels in Victoria, no questions asked. If they wanted a monopoly over all licensed brothels in Victoria, they could achieve that too, as long as they put up enough front people. With dozens… Keep Reading

Fake Money Haven

During the development of international-style organised crime in Australia throughout the two decades from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, a legal loophole was exploited to make Australia a haven for counterfeiters of foreign currency. It was not until the end of 1985 that special legislation was enacted to make counterfeiting… Keep Reading

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