Organised criminals use ‘cuckoo smurfing’ as a method of laundering money to disguise and integrate their funds across borders to profit from and further enable their illegal activities.

Generally this method of money laundering relies on exploiting the bank accounts of customers expecting to receive legitimate funds. These customers are often unaware that the funds transferred into their accounts are the proceeds of crime.

To protect Australia’s financial system against exploitation, AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance has developed this financial crime guide on cuckoo smurfing.

The guide explains how cuckoo smurfing takes place, and specific indicators to help remittance service providers, banking and financial services businesses understand, identify and report suspicious transactions related to this activity.

Download and read the Financial crime guide – Detect and report cuckoo smurfing (PDF, 1.59MB)

How your customers can protect themselves

We have partnered with the Australian Federal Police to release a factsheet for the public on how to protect themselves from cuckoo smurfing. 

Download the Factsheet – Cuckoo smurfing: How to spot, avoid and protect yourself from this money laundering scheme (PDF, 580KB)


The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.

Last updated: 5 Apr 2023
Page ID: 664

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