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Casinos, remitters and airline crew help launder cash

Summary

AUSTRAC helped investigate an offender linked to an international scheme to launder A$2.4 million from the proceeds of crime. The scheme involved casino losses, overseas fund transfers by a remittance service provider and airline crew members carrying unreported cash. AUSTRAC’s information identified the offender and revealed the syndicate's financial activities.

The crime

A woman came to AUSTRAC’s attention through suspicious matter reports (SMRs) for inconsistent gaming activity, including a A$3 million loss in one year. The losses in other years were smaller, ranging from A$3000 to A$30,000. We referred her to law enforcement for investigation and she was arrested after authorities discovered her carrying A$200,000 in cash.

Law enforcement revealed a link to three Chinese airline crew who were already under investigation for trying to leave Australia carrying A$100,000 in undeclared currency. They found the offender had previously given these crew members large amounts of cash to courier from Australia to China as part of the money laundering scheme.

A person who worked for a remittance service provider had received commissions for transferring significant amounts of money to China on the offender’s behalf. Authorities suspected that the individual used false names and altered records for the international funds transfers.

The offender was charged with dealing with property reasonably suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

Penalties

The offender received a 12-month good behaviour bond.

How business reporting helped

An Australian bank submitted an SMR about the suspect’s activities after she made two unusually large cash deposits totalling A$600,000 on the same day to the same bank account. AUSTRAC also received two significant cash transaction reports for the two large deposits.

AUSTRAC’s role

AUSTRAC identified the offender and brought her to the attention of law enforcement. Our financial intelligence provided insight into the financial activities of the syndicate.

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Last updated: 1 Jul 2019
Page ID: 123

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