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AUSTRAC has ordered the appointment of an external auditor to three entities within the Bell Financial Group, including Bell Potter Securities Limited, Bell Potter Capital Limited and Third Party Platform Pty Ltd.

The appointed external auditor will be authorised by AUSTRAC to assess the three entities’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (AML/CTF Rules).

A new financial crime guide from AUSTRAC will help businesses identify and report suspicious activity related to forced sexual servitude. Forced sexual servitude is a form of slavery and represents around 30% of slavery cases in Australia.

Victims are forced to provide sexual services against their will, are unable to refuse violent or unsafe practices, and must hand over most – if not all – of their money to the perpetrators. It is a lucrative business for criminals, who make significant profits through this criminal activity.

AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance has been awarded the Partnerships in Conservation Award by INTERPOL in recognition of its contribution to protecting wildlife from illegal trafficking.

A new financial crime guide will help financial services businesses detect and report suspicious transactions indicative of fraud and misuse of emergency and disaster payments administered through Services Australia.

A new financial crime guide will help businesses understand, identify and report technology-facilitated abuse through financial transaction payment text fields. AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance has seen an increase in the use of these fields to stalk, harass or threaten victims, in an attempt to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.  

The issue of de-banking is a complex global problem. Over the past decade, the range of businesses impacted by a loss or limitation of access to banking services has expanded. Money transfer (remitters), digital currency exchanges, not-for-profit organisations (NPO) and financial technology (FinTech) businesses are disproportionally facing bank account closures. Banking services in the Pacific region previously enabled through Australian banks are also at risk. We understand, there are multiple drivers both domestically and internationally including:

Today AUSTRAC released four new Australian banking sector money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) risk assessments. The four assessments examine the threats criminals pose to Australia’s major banks, other domestic banks, foreign subsidiary banks and foreign bank branches operating in Australia.

AUSTRAC has issued a remedial direction to Australian Military Bank Ltd (AMB) requiring the mutual bank to review and uplift its compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws. The action follows ongoing regulatory engagement with AMB which identified concerns related to the effectiveness of AMB’s AML/CTF systems and controls.

Two more Australians have been arrested and charged in connection to a major joint international MDMA drug investigation originating in the Netherlands in 2019.

It will be alleged the syndicate has claimed more than $10 million since 2017 in NDIS funding. The value of the fraudulent claims are alleged to be in the millions. Investigations continue into the scale and total value involved.