I am very pleased to present the latest AUSTRAC typologies and case studies report, the eighth in the series.
These reports are a valuable resource for industry and AUSTRAC's partner agencies. They reveal the diversity and seriousness of the money laundering and terrorism financing threats facing industry and the wider community.
The 20 real-life case studies included in this report present a snapshot of how criminals are seeking to misuse Australia's financial system. They describe international drug smuggling operations, people smuggling and human trafficking syndicates and sophisticated overseas tax evasion schemes. In 16 of these cases, AUSTRAC information and analysis was instrumental in helping to identify additional criminal identities and suspects, bank accounts, phone numbers and aliases that were not previously known to law enforcement.
Notably, this report includes case studies where criminals have been caught using new technologies and criminal methods flagged in previous AUSTRAC reports as potential threats. These include a black market website and digital currencies being used to sell illegal drugs, and a cash courier who sent millions of dollars overseas on behalf of a professional money laundering syndicate.
This report examines AUSTRAC's involvement in two multi-agency government task forces – Project Wickenby and the Eligo National Task Force. It shows how AUSTRAC's financial intelligence is vital to their success and details the criminal typologies and suspicious customer behaviours that should trigger 'red flags' for Australian businesses.
AUSTRAC could not produce such detailed and informative resources without the valuable input of its federal, state and territory partners and the cooperation of its international counterparts.
The case studies in this report also demonstrate the enormous intelligence value of the financial transaction reports and reports of suspicious matters AUSTRAC receives from a wide range of reporting entities. I acknowledge the important role played by industry as partners in combating serious crimes, including money laundering.
I look forward to consulting with industry and partner agencies about future reports in this series. This input is crucial in ensuring our reports remain useful and relevant to our collective efforts to protect Australia against financial and other serious crimes.
Paul Jevtovic APM
Chief Executive Officer