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As announced by the Attorney-General and Minister Dutton, I am pleased to confirm that AUSTRAC and Westpac have reached an agreement in which Westpac has admitted to over 23 million breaches of the AML/CTF Act and has agreed to pay a civil penalty of 1.3 billion dollars.

The Federal Court will now determine whether an order for the proposed penalty is appropriate. Subject to the Federal Court’s findings, both AUSTRAC and Westpac agree that this agreement reflects the seriousness and magnitude of compliance failings by Westpac.

AUSTRAC has issued an infringement notice to State Street Bank and Trust Company (State Street) for over $1.24 million for failing to report international funds transfers.

This month, AUSTRAC launched the 2020 Analyst Exchange Program (AEP) with our Indonesian partner, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK). Now in its 8th year, the program is being delivered remotely for the first time due to COVID-19 and runs until June.

The AEP is a fundamental to AUSTRAC’s collaboration with regional partners to build capacity to combat the regional threats we face from criminals and terrorists. The program brings together analysts from both Indonesia and Australia to build financial intelligence skills and capabilities.

Today, AUSTRAC announced a change to the AML/CTF customer ID and verification Rule to help people experiencing family and domestic violence. Under the rule, if a customer cannot produce their driver’s license or birth certificate, or show a different address, banks and other regulated businesses can use alternative ways to verify their customer’s identity.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all Australians and Australian businesses. AUSTRAC acknowledges that this is an unprecedented and uncertain time for you and your business.

We understand the importance of supporting you during this time, while ensuring that we continue to fight financial crime.

On 23 September 2019, AUSTRAC ordered the appointment of an external auditor to examine ongoing concerns regarding PayPal Australia’s compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (the AML/CTF Act).

The Australian Government has seen a disturbing trend in violence used against children.

The Home Affairs Portfolio is leading the Government’s efforts in countering child sexual exploitation and abuse in the physical and online world. 

A 63-year-old Sydney man accused of travelling to the Philippines to sexually abuse children is expected to face court today charged with possessing child abuse material and ‘child sex tourism’ offences.

Several people have been charged by WA Police Force as part of an investigation into a suspected Vietnamese Established Criminal Network involved in money laundering activity.

AUSTRAC and Great Britain Gambling Commission have today strengthened their cooperation in the fight against serious financial crime and terrorism financing through the signing of a regulatory Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in London.