Many law enforcement investigations into ML/TF in Australia are initiated or supported by the FTRs submitted by Australian businesses and individuals.
Several of the case studies within this report were prompted after suspect transaction reports (SUSTRs) were provided to AUSTRAC by diligent reporting entities. These SUSTRs provided important financial data which supported the arrest and conviction of criminals, and the seizure of their criminally funded assets.
Although every effort has been made to capture emerging money laundering threats under the AML/CTF Act, it is inevitable that new products and services will be introduced that are vulnerable to exploitation for ML/TF. It is important that reporting entities, AUSTRAC, and its partner agencies continue to work together to identify new and modified criminal behaviour.
Quality SUSTRs and, from 12 December 2008, suspicious matter reports (SMRs) submitted by reporting entities are essential for protecting Australia from the effects of ML/TF.
Suspect transaction reports provided by industry are extremely valuable pieces of financial intelligence. Investigating and prosecuting complex criminal matters requires discretion on the part of law enforcement agencies, and this may limit the extent to which we are able to directly acknowledge those who submit these reports, in a timely manner. We can, however, assure those people submitting reports that their efforts often lead to significant law enforcement outcomes and prevent criminals from profiting from their activities. Almost without exception, in the investigation of any major criminal matter reported in the media, the investigation will have benefited from access to AUSTRAC's database of financial transaction information.