Skip to main content

Intelligence

As Australia’s financial intelligence unit (FIU), AUSTRAC collects information from the thousands of entities we regulate. Our financial intelligence analysts use that information to identify financial transactions linked to crimes including money laundering, terrorism financing, organised crime, child exploitation and tax evasion.

We share our findings with a wide range of domestic and international partner agencies in law enforcement and security.

How we collect and use financial intelligence

We also act as Australia’s AML/CTF regulator. In this capacity we oversee the compliance of more than 14,000 reporting entities with their AML/CTF obligations, including reporting financial transactions and suspicious activity to AUSTRAC.

We closely analyse the information in these reports using sophisticated modelling and predictive analysis tools in combination with other data sources to identify potential criminal activity or risks to national security. We then share this intelligence with our partners to support law enforcement and national security operations.

Intelligence sharing

Intelligence partnerships, both public and private, are fundamental for AUSTRAC. By sharing financial intelligence, we play a vital role in helping law enforcement and security agencies to detect and disrupt criminal activity in Australia and around the world.

Government partners

Our financial intelligence makes a significant contribution to the national intelligence picture and supports investigations by our government partners at federal and state level.

We actively share intelligence reports with our government partners to help in their work to detect and disrupt criminal activity. Our partners also have direct access to our data holdings and can search our information directly to support their national security and law enforcement work. More than 5000 users across 39 different partner agencies accessed our data holdings in 2017–18.

We also share data with government agencies that don’t have direct access to our data holdings but who may need specific information to help with their investigations – for example, the Australian Sports and Anti-Doping Association (ASADA).

International partners

To combat money laundering and terrorism financing across borders, we also share financial intelligence with other AML/CTF FIUs and regulators around the world.

We negotiate written agreements (exchange instruments) with each foreign jurisdiction or organisation. These agreements set out the framework for how we will exchange information with foreign jurisdictions or organisations. You can see a list of exchange instruments and read more about AUSTRAC's international engagement, including how we share financial intelligence and other information.

Data matching with our domestic partner agencies

Matching our data with data held by selected partner agencies can help identify individuals under investigation. For example, AUSTRAC matches data with data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to identify individuals who may not be declaring income or paying their tax. We also match our data with data from the Department of Human Services to help combat benefit fraud and improve the integrity of the welfare system.

Our contribution to cross-agency task forces

AUSTRAC is a member of a number of national law enforcement task forces. We provide specialist financial intelligence to help combat serious criminal activity, including ML/TF, organised crime and tax evasion.

Task force

Crime targeted

Jurisdiction

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Child exploitation material

National

Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Task Force (ARGOS)

Child exploitation material

Queensland

Operation Athena

Illicit firearms

National

Black Economy Standing Task Force

Cash economy

National

Task Force Cadena

Labour hire

WA

Fraud & Anti-Corruption Centre

Fraud and corruption

National

Illicit Tobacco Task Force

Tobacco

National

Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Task Force

Child exploitation material

National

Joint Organised Crime Task Force

Serious and organised crime

WA

National Anti-gangs Task Force (MORPHEUS)

Outlaw motorcycle gangs

National

National Disruption Group

Terrorism and related criminal activity

National

Phoenix Task Force

Illegal phoenix activities

National

Serious Financial Crime Task Force

Revenue/tax fraud

National

Trident Task Force

Waterfront corruption and vulnerabilities

Victoria

National Methamphetamine Task Force (VITREUS)

Methamphetamine

National

Our role in the National Intelligence Community

In 2017, the Independent Intelligence Review recognised the increasingly significant role AUSTRAC plays in the broader intelligence community as Australia’s financial intelligence unit, and recommended that the National Intelligence Community (NIC) expand to include AUSTRAC.

There are nine other members of the NIC:

The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.

Last updated: 29 Jun 2019
Page ID: 65

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Please note that feedback you provide here will be used only for the purpose of improving our website. If you have a specific question about your AML/CTF obligations, please contact us.