Case Study: Real outcomes resulting from your suspicious matter reports

Your suspicious matter reports (SMRs) play a critical role in helping AUSTRAC and our law enforcement partners to identify and stop criminal behaviour. In early 2022, based on SMRs from a digital currency exchange, we collated and assessed intelligence to identify an individual with indirect exposure to darknet markets. Using this data, our analysts were able to trace blockchain activity in conjunction with other information sources, which ultimately revealed the actions of a likely darknet market vendor. We then referred the matter to the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) for investigation.

Using AUSTRAC’s intelligence leads, NSWPF identified a marketplace on the dark web facilitating the sale of cannabis in exchange for cryptocurrency. Following extensive inquiries, Strike Force Presland investigators arrested a 55-year old man in late April 2023. A search warrant of his home located mature cannabis plants, cannabis seeds and leaves, $3,755 in cash and cryptocurrency worth an estimated $1,000. The man is alleged to have received more than $1.4 million in cryptocurrency in exchange for prohibited drugs between March 2018 and April 2023.

How can I help stop crimes like this?

You have an important role to play to help us stop financial crime in its tracks. If you identify any suspicious financial indicators, please submit a suspicious matter report to AUSTRAC.

To help you detect and report suspicious activity, please see our financial crime guides which cover a range of topics, including Preventing the criminal abuse of digital currencies. With your help, we can strengthen Australia’s financial system and protect our community.