Financial intelligence crucial in cracking down on money laundering and other crime during 2011-12
Australia's anti-money laundering agency, AUSTRAC, has released its annual report for 2011-12, underlining the increasingly important role of financial intelligence in combating crime.
AUSTRAC CEO John Schmidt said the report showed that AUSTRAC information assisted many investigations by Australian law enforcement, national security and other agencies.
AUSTRAC's 2011-12 report details how the agency contributed to thousands of Australian Taxation Office investigations, resulting in $252 million in additional tax assessments being raised.
Financial intelligence also assisted in hundreds of Centrelink cases and other major investigations undertaken by law enforcement, including illegal drug importations, firearms trafficking and identity theft, and contributed to whole-of-government taskforces tackling serious and organised investment fraud and international tax evasion.
The report also records another significant increase in financial transactions reported to AUSTRAC: 'This year 53 million international funds transfers were reported to AUSTRAC with a total value of over $3.4 trillion,' Mr Schmidt said. 'These are vast numbers which demonstrate how Australia is interconnected with the global financial system. We must remain alert to both the threats and the opportunities posed by this trend.'
AUSTRAC's 2011-12 report also shows increasing engagement with industry, including over 1,600 assessments of the compliance of reporting entities with their legislative obligations.
'Australia has a robust anti-money laundering regime,' Mr Schmidt said, 'but AUSTRAC and its partners in government and industry must stay ahead of organised crime and keep pace with new technologies and global trends to keep it that way.'
The AUSTRAC annual report for 2011-12 is available 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.
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