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Proposal to register tattoos in Qld

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by MelbourneMick, May 13, 2013.

  1. The world really is going mad


    Tattoo registry rejected as infringement on rights
    By Lucy Sweeny
    Updated Wed May 8, 2013 4:51pm AEST

    The Australian Tattooists Guild say the registration is an infringement on civil liberties.
    Tattooists have rejected a proposal for a Queensland tattoo registry to discourage bikie-related money laundering, with lawyers saying it would impede on privacy.

    The registry would force people wanting tattoos to register their intentions with the Government, in an attempt to stop bikie-related tattoo parlours taking receipts for fake customers.

    Gold Coast MP for Mermaid Beach, Ray Stevens, who put the proposal to State Parliament last Thursday, said bikie-related crime is a huge concern for his electorate.

    "Under the Health Act there should be a register of people getting tattoos so that we can identify those people getting tattoos," Mr Stevens said.

    "Rather than have John Smith, Bill Brown and all the other fake names of people who are paying $5,000 or $10,000 for tattoos. This is a way for these bikie clubs to clean their money."

    But Australian Tattooists Guild spokesman Josh Roelink says the registry is a "huge infringement on civil liberties and privacy".

    Mr Roelink, who is a tattooist in the northern NSW town of Lennox Head, says the majority of people he has spoken to would not want to register a tattoo.

    "The majority of our clients would probably be reluctant to do it, and it's just a huge infringement on civil liberties and privacy," Mr Roelink said.

    "The second concern we have is where the resources are coming from and who's going to pay for it all.

    The majority of our clients would probably be reluctant to do it, and it's just a huge infringement on civil liberties and privacy.
    Australian Tattooists Guild spokesman Josh Roelink
    "Who's going to be the department that's going to process them? If it's going to be under the Health Act then it's going to be the Health Department and I think those resources could be used a lot better.

    "Also it just means extra work for [tattooists] when we're already under a barrage of red tape for our businesses."

    Under the Tattoo Parlours Act 2012, tattoo shops in New South Wales are required to make financial business records including invoices, receipts, cash flow statements available for inspection by police at any "reasonable time".

    Mr Roelink says the money that would be spent on establishing a tattoo registry could be better spent elsewhere.

    "If they really want to stop the idea of money laundering then they should be giving the money to the powers that are actually going to provide it and police it instead of trying to create something completely separate," he said.

    "It's just a complete waste spending money trying to create infrastructure for something that could be policed in a better way."

    Registry 'overkill'

    Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope says the proposed laws are "overkill" considering the powers police and government agencies already have to investigate unexplained wealth or suspect cash transactions.

    Mr Cope says such a move would also be a violation of freedom of speech, and the he doubts a registry would be effective.

    "There are already ample powers under the Cash Transaction Reports Act to deal with cash transactions," Mr Cope said.

    "To have people's names recorded because they've had a tattoo done, is an unnecessary invasion of privacy because you'll be recording the names of people who will be perfectly innocent.

    "It just seems to be one of these crazy ideas people come up with. I'd like to see any evidence that it's been done anywhere and had any effect.

    "I don't see how that is going to generate any significant important evidence."

    Bikies bad for business

    One Gold Coast tattoo artist, who wants to remain anonymous to avoid further bikie-related violence at his business, says the association between bikie gangs and tattoo parlours is doing serious harm to the industry.

    He says it is unfair that tattoo shops are the only businesses being singled out, considering bikie gangs are known to run other types of businesses for the purposes of money laundering.

    "They don't just own tattoo shops," he said.

    "They own hairdressers, they own car shops - it's more than just tattoo shops.

    "If you want to start nailing people getting tattoos, you may as well do it to any dude that goes and gets his car done, or any dude that goes and gets a haircut.

    "They've got restaurants - so, what, you go and get registered to have a meal?"

    It could have an unintended consequence of causing people to resort to do-it-yourself with a tattoo gun bought over the internet in non-sterile conditions.
    Barrister Mark Polden
    New South Wales barrister Mark Polden says focusing on tattoo parlours may only serve to drive illegal activity elsewhere.

    "Even if it were to be established, let's assume for argument's sake, that money laundering was going on through these kinds of businesses, all it's going to do in all probability is to drive that into another business," Mr Polden said.

    "Whether it's smash repair businesses or hairdressers or whatever it is, it's probably just going to move the problem elsewhere isn't it?"

    Mr Polden also expressed some concern that some younger customers could be encouraged to avoid the registry by using equipment bought online.

    "It could have an unintended consequence of causing people to resort to do-it-yourself with a tattoo gun bought over the internet in non-sterile conditions," Mr Polden said.

    "That's a very undesirable outcome."

    The Queensland Government has not yet determined whether the registry will be introduced.
  2. "We don't want money going to unauthorised criminals in Queensland. They must be our criminals." ;)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. How naive to think that a crime gang who is laundering money through a tattoo shop won't simply move their money to some other form of service business.
  4. How naive to think every tattoo shop is used for money laundering.

    This is a shame considering the work that has been done by various tattoo associations to being tattooing out of the dark ages and dispel many myths about the entire industry.
  5. and it would be equally naive to think they aren't used for nefarious agendas.

    but registering tattoos is a silly idea though for the reasons pointed out in the article. Much better to circumvent the money laundering problem by cutting off the source of the dosh ie legalise drug use, fix up the prostitution laws, tighten up verification of vehicle registration processes etc... not to mention sorting out the standover protection extortions ...
  6. If they are so sure that money laundering is such a big problem, they can always stake out the suspect tattoo shops, count the customers, then audit the books. They can already do this.

    Lazy law enforcement is no excuse to infringe on civil rights.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Another example of the fine minds we attract to politics in this country. Brilliant Mr Ray Stevens Member for Mermaid Beach, you mental midget you.
  8. mmm yeah .. it's like that in Qld
    or maybe he is studying at the Bjelke-Petersen school of media studies and was completing his first assignment in the unit 'How to Feed the Chooks 101'
  9. how about the government concentrate on not fcuking up the things they already have control of
  10. #10 smileedude, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
    I'm no expert and my limited knowledge on the subject comes from Breaking Bad, but I thought money laundering businesses were supposed to sell mainly cheap cash transactions items. Something like a tattoo parlour would be next to useless as few people would buy a tattoo with cash. So as soon as the income starts hitting over say 10% in cash transactions it would be instantly obvious something dodge is occurring.

    Plus money laundering is supposed to be covert and not attract attention. Bikies owning a tattoo shop doesn't fall into that category.
  11. Ya think it's about money laundering ??? Me thinks not and that's just smoke.
    They have face recognition technology already. Tatts would be an easier target if the system knew what it was looking for ...
    And it would be a lot shorter list marking who doesn't have a tatt in qld.
    Why don't ya's just get the daily news printed on your forehead so I can have something to read while I go for me walks..... but get in a sequential line, I'm not that brite.
  12. That's a bit general. You could apply that to any cash heavy industry. Doesn't mean everyone in that industry should be treated as a continuous suspect.
  13. Cash is king in the tattoo industry. EFTPOS I've seen in a few places but I don't know of a tattooist that accepts credit cards as payment.
  14. For sure there are honest, above-board operators out there just trying to make a living ... but if that is the majority then why the continual turf wars up here? There have been several serious attacks on people's businesses in recent times ... bit harsh for mum/pop businesses to be firebombed or shot up for trying to compete in an open market.
  15. Are we still talking about tattoo shops exclusively? Or are there other businesses that have been attacked ?
    Only asking as that kind of news is scarce down here.
  16. Tattoo shops seem to make the headlines reasonably regularly ... also gyms seem to be a target. Can't comment on other intimidation tactics but I am fairly sure they are happening.

    A 2 minute google >>>>


  17. What happens is Joe sells a bag of pills for $10k he then puts that money into tattoo business A as a sale to a ficticsous customer, pays the tax on it so its a legal transaction and bingo money laundered.
    Tattoo parlours are an ideal setup cos they run mainly on cash and their customers are often blow ins acting on the spur of the moment and names are not taken.
    As far as the taxman is concerned its all good, Tattoo A turns over 500k a year and pays its tax, he doesn't really care if half of that came from selling pills, that's another departments problem.
  18. Only 2 minutes ? I could have heated up my noodles in that time.
    But I digress.

    The whole idea of having a person register what tattoo they intend to get followed by proof of payment is ludicrous.

    I'm not saying every tattoo shop is squeaky clean but this is not the way to fix the problem.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Now apply the same to Laundromats, Night Clubs, Gyms, Personal Training. Transportation... The list goes on.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Yup ... unfortunately there is an aura of intimidation happening in these other areas as well as the traditional tattoo parlour ... it's called diversification

    and the tactics used to intimidate competitors out of a market eg standover stuff, also get used in other areas where influence is desired ie political arenas.

    If I know these things from personal observations then I am sure the plod knows it too ... The difficulties are in prosecuting ... witnesses don't want to come forward so the mob wins.