AUSTRAC issues $252,000 infringement notice to Compass
AUSTRAC has issued a $252,000 infringement notice to Compass Global Holdings Pty Ltd (Compass) for failing to report international funds transfers between 2018 and 2019.
Entities regulated by AUSTRAC, such as money transfer dealers, banks and casinos, are required to submit International Funds Transfer Instruction (IFTI) reports to AUSTRAC on time.
This is a requirement under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
Information reported by the financial sector provides AUSTRAC with vital intelligence that enables AUSTRAC and its partners to combat crime.
AUSTRAC is working with Compass to address concerns that it does not have adequate systems and processes in place to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer, Nicole Rose PSM said that the reporting of money flowing in and out of Australia is critical for AUSTRAC to detect criminal activity like money laundering, to protect the Australian community from serious crime.
“Money laundering funds and enables terrorism and serious organised crime that causes harm to Australians such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, child exploitation and illegal firearm sales,” Ms Rose said.
Money transfer businesses are a major part of Australia’s financial system, with individuals and businesses reporting $60 billion worth of international funds transfer instructions sent and received by people in Australia using registered money transfer services in 2018/19.
In the same year, there were around 17.3 million transactions reported through Australia’s registered remittance (money transfer) sector.
“AUSTRAC is working with Compass, to ensure they understand their compliance obligations. Where businesses don’t comply with the law, AUSTRAC will not hesitate to take action to protect Australia’s financial system and the community from criminal activity,” Ms Rose said.
In August, AUSTRAC launched a national, community focussed campaign to target illegal money transfer dealers that have not registered with AUSTRAC. The campaign will raise awareness among money transfer businesses of the risks posed by illegal money transfer businesses.
AUSTRAC’s enforcement powers
AUSTRAC has a range of enforcement powers available, which include:
- issuing infringement notices
- issuing remedial directions, which require a reporting entity to take specified action to ensure compliance
- accepting enforceable undertakings detailing the specific actions a reporting entity will commence or cease in order to comply with the AML/CTF Act
- seeking injunctions and/or civil penalty orders in the Federal Court
- referring a matter to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution for possible criminal prosecution.
AUSTRAC uses financial intelligence and regulation to disrupt money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crime.
AUSTRAC’s dual regulatory and intelligence functions work hand in hand to protect Australia’s financial system.
Our regulatory function ensures we get high quality data and entities comply with their obligations. It requires the financial sector to put in place systems and controls that protect them from criminal abuse, while also reporting on financial transactions and suspicious activity.
This provides AUSTRAC’s intelligence analysts with the information they need to identify risks and develop intelligence products that support law enforcement and national security operations and investigations.
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