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AUSTRAC links Australian assets to suspects wanted for crimes in China

Summary

Following requests for information from our Chinese counterpart, and law enforcement agencies in Australia and China, AUSTRAC identified a complex international money laundering scheme run by individuals who were wanted by Chinese authorities on bribery and corruption charges.

The crime

Australian and Chinese authorities were investigating suspects in relation to bribery and corruption.

Our financial intelligence analysts discovered that the suspects had put in place complex money laundering schemes involving structuring of funds through multiple third-party accounts and tax havens, some of which had been placed into the accounts of wealth management and investment companies. The suspects had also received a series of international funds transfer instructions that did not list a country of origin.

AUSTRAC was able to show that the funds were domestic transfers sent to the suspects from a remittance service provider based in Australia via an offsetting arrangement with a partner remittance service provider in China. The arrangement appeared to be designed to avoid the US$50,000 per annum foreign exchange cap placed on individuals in China.

The AFP confiscated the suspects’ Australia-based assets.

AUSTRAC’s role

AUSTRAC identified the money laundering scheme and linked it to assets purchased in Australia by the suspects.

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Last updated: 1 Jul 2019
Page ID: 218

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