AUSTRAC takes fifth enforcement action in the remittance sector since March 2012
12 July 2012
AUSTRAC has accepted an enforceable undertaking from a remittance service provider requiring that it appoint an external consultant to assess its compliance with obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
The Acting AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Liz Atkins accepted the enforceable undertaking from Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd to ensure that the remittance business implements a compliant AML/CTF program, reports international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs) to AUSTRAC within the required timeframe and submits its IFTI reports with all of the required information.
'AUSTRAC is committed to reducing the money laundering and terrorism financing risks posed by the remittance sector in Australia,' Ms Atkins said. 'Enforcement action is one of the variety of means AUSTRAC uses to help ensure remitters comply with their obligations under the AML/CTF Act and AML/CTF Rules'.
Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd is registered on the Remittance Sector Register as an independent remittance dealer and as a remittance network provider.
AUSTRAC initially formed concerns about Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd's compliance with AML/CTF program and IFTI reporting obligations after considering taking enforcement action against a related entity, which subsequently ceased trading and transferred its business to Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd. While Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd has taken some steps to address the compliance issues identified by AUSTRAC, AUSTRAC continues to have concerns about Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd's compliance with its obligations.
The Acting AUSTRAC CEO has accepted from Your Express Service (YES) Pty Ltd an enforceable undertaking under which the remitter is required to appoint an external consultant to:
- assess its AML/CTF program and IFTI reporting processes
- revise its AML/CTF program and IFTI processes to remediate any identified deficiencies
- assess its implementation of the revised AML/CTF program and IFTI processes six months after its adoption of these revised processes and procedures.
Under the AML/CTF Act, the AUSTRAC CEO is empowered to accept enforceable undertakings as a means of ensuring compliance with the AML/CTF Act, including as an alternative to taking criminal or civil enforcement action. Accepting an enforceable undertaking does not prevent AUSTRAC from taking further enforcement action if it is considered necessary.
'This enforceable undertaking is another clear demonstration of AUSTRAC's efforts to reduce the risk of Australian remittance businesses being exploited for money laundering, terrorism financing or people smuggling,' Ms Atkins said. 'Over the past four months, AUSTRAC has imposed conditions on the registration of three remittance service providers, including a remittance network provider, to mitigate the risks associated with their businesses. In June we also gave a remittance business a notice requiring that it appoint an external auditor.'
'We will continue to work closely with remitters to assist them to comply with their AML/CTF obligations', Ms Atkins said. 'However, where necessary, AUSTRAC will take enforcement action, impose conditions on the registration of high-risk remitters, or consider refusing or removing these remitters from the Remittance Sector Register.'
The enforceable undertaking can be viewed on the AUSTRAC website.
AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) is Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator and specialist financial intelligence unit. AUSTRAC works with law enforcement and other agencies to protect the integrity of the Australian financial system and fight serious crimes such as drug trafficking, tax evasion, fraud and people smuggling.
Telephone: +61 3 8636 0585