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AUSTRAC has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from two entities in the ING Bank Australia group (ING Bank Australia Ltd and ING Bank N.V., Sydney Branch) to uplift its compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws. ING self-identified and voluntarily reported shortcomings in relation to its compliance with its anti-money laundering obligations. The resulting regulatory inquiries, including an investigation, identified concerns in relation to AML/CTF program, monitoring systems and controls, and reporting to AUSTRAC.

AUSTRAC has partnered with Papua New Guinea’s financial intelligence agency to host the first in person conference of the Pacific Financial Intelligence Community (PFIC), bringing together financial intelligence agencies from across the region.

Held in Port Moresby over two days, the conference will be an opportunity to strengthen regional capacity to combat financial crime including money laundering.

AUSTRAC has ordered the appointment of external auditors under section 162 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) to assess compliance of two corporate bookmakers, Sportsbet Pty Ltd (Sportsbet) and Hillside (Australia New Media) Pty Limited (Bet365).

The appointed external auditor will be authorised by AUSTRAC to assess Sportsbet’s and Bet365’s compliance with the AML/CTF Act and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (AML/CTF Rules).

A new financial crime guide released by AUSTRAC today will help financial service providers identify and report suspicious transactions indicative of criminals engaging in trade-based money laundering.

Trade-based money laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of crime by moving funds through trade transactions, in an attempt to legitimise their illegal origin or finance illegal activities.

AUSTRAC welcomes today’s announcement that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Griffith University have established an academy to focus on financial crime.

AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose, said that rapid movement of money underpinning criminal activity requires partnerships globally and across sectors.

“Financial crime types evolve, exploiting opportunities and gaps in borders, knowledge and cooperation,” she said.

AUSTRAC has commenced an enforcement investigation into Entain Group Pty Ltd.  This follows an extensive supervisory campaign that assessed entities within the corporate bookmakers sector.  The investigation will focus on whether Entain has complied with its obligations under the AML/CTF Act.

AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer, Nicole Rose, said all reporting entities including those in the corporate bookmakers sector, must take seriously their role in combatting serious and organised crime.

AUSTRAC and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the exchange of financial intelligence.

Under the MOU, both countries will cooperate in the exchange of information related to money laundering and terrorism financing.

Deputy CEO, Dr John Moss represented AUSTRAC at the signing of the MOU with NFIU Director and CEO Mr Modibbo Hamman Tukur, while attending the Egmont Group Plenary meetings in Latvia.

AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose welcomed the agreement between AUSTRAC and the NFIU.

Thank you to Scott, Kieran and ACAMS for the invitation to be here today.

In reviewing the conference program, I was impressed by the range of issues being discussed. It is an effective reminder of just how pervasive and diverse the threats of money laundering and financial crime are, and the variety of ways criminals will look to exploit any and all vulnerabilities in our financial system.

The AUSTRAC-led Fintel Alliance has been awarded the Best Collaboration of the Year Award by the International Compliance Association (ICA). The award recognises the collaborative efforts of the Fintel Alliance to identify and disrupt organised crime syndicates using automatic teller machines (ATMs) to launder the proceeds of crime.

Thank you to FINSIA for the invitation to be here today. 

As many of you may know, AUSTRAC has a slightly different focus than that of my Treasury portfolio colleagues. Located within the Home Affairs portfolio, we tend to view our work through a law enforcement and national security lens, as opposed to the more traditional economic focus.

Accordingly, for those of you not as familiar with our work, I hope this will give you a slightly different perspective.