The Australian community is not immune from new and emerging threats to its security from domestic and transnational organised crime syndicates and terrorist groups.
Just as communities and businesses globalise and embrace new technologies, so too do crime syndicates. They now operate across state and international boundaries, forming strategic partnerships between previously unrelated groups. The financial system, both regulated and unregulated, has increasingly become the vehicle for moving illicit profits around the world. Complex business structures interwoven within global trade can provide a veil under which criminal groups may operate.
In Australia, creating an environment that is hostile to money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) requires the continued cooperation of government bodies and industries to ensure the effectiveness of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
The AML/CTF Act was implemented to support an environment which exposes the activities of criminal and terrorism groups and supports the law enforcement investigations that dismantle them.
The Act provides a legislative foundation for AUSTRAC to work with Australia's financial and gambling sectors to generate financial information and build an AML/CTF program to prevent the misuse of Australia's financial system. Financial transaction reports (FTRs) produced by reporting entities help us understand how ML/TF occurs and follow the illicit money trail. In turn, we can use this information to develop resources on typologies and case studies.
This collaborative cycle of information sharing between reporting entities, AUSTRAC, and partner agencies is critical in protecting Australia's financial systems.
AUSTRAC's purpose is to protect the integrity of Australia's financial system and contribute to the administration of justice through our expertise in countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism.