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Campaign update – AUSTRAC targets illegal money transfer dealers

In late August, AUSTRAC launched a community-based campaign targeted at unregistered money transfer dealers, also known as unregistered remittance dealers.

Across Australia, many communities rely on the services of money transfer businesses to send and receive money from overseas, which supports friends and family living on opposite side of the world.

However, unregistered money transfer dealers don’t have the level of protections in place required by a business that is registered with AUSTRAC. This makes them an attractive target for criminals who might use them to launder money from a range of serious crimes, from child exploitation, illegal firearms sales and drug trafficking, through to tax evasion or phone and email fraud.

This is why AUSTRAC is speaking directly to communities to educate them on the risks of using unregistered money transfer dealers and, importantly, what actions they can take to protect themselves and their community.

Meeting with communities across Australia

AUSTRAC has hosted town hall meetings in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with a further town hall meeting in Brisbane to come as we continue to reach out to communities across Australia.

So far, over 200 people have attended these town hall meetings, including local community leaders and multicultural organisations, registered money transfer providers, partner agencies and journalists.

At each event, AUSTRAC staff have been on hand to answer questions, share information and provide materials in 11 languages that explains the threat of using unregistered money transfer dealers.

Participants are sharing this information with their communities, so they can be better equipped to identify an unregistered money transfer dealer and can make informed decisions about who they choose to transfer money with.

Support for registered money transfer businesses

As part of the campaign, more than 100 AUSTRAC staff have visited over 380 registered money transfer businesses in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra and will soon be heading to Brisbane.

We are speaking directly to our registered businesses about the campaign and hear about issues that are most relevant and pressing for the money transfer sector, as well as providing them with information packs and posters they can display in their business.

More resources for money transfer businesses