Skip to main content

Help us prevent the exploitation of international trade

12 December 2022

International trade is an attractive avenue for criminals as it presents risks and vulnerabilities that they can exploit. Criminals engaged in trade-based money laundering use the trade of goods and services to move illicit money into and out of Australia and around the world.

Our latest financial crime guide provides you with indicators and customer behaviours to detect suspicious financial activity related to international trade.

These trade-based money laundering schemes vary in complexity and can be challenging to detect as they can involve multiple parties and jurisdictions and misrepresent the prices, quantity or quality of imported or exported goods.

Financial service providers, particularly those engaged in trade financing play a crucial role in detecting this activity.

Download the financial crime guide – Preventing trade-based money laundering in Australia (PDF, 1.88MB)

What you need to do

No single indicator will be a definitive way to identify if a business is being used or exploited for trade-based money laundering activities. You should use a combination of indicators in this guide, combined with knowledge of your business to monitor, mitigate and manage risks associated with any unusual activity. Where a suspicion is formed, you must submit an SMR to AUSTRAC.

For more information on SMRs and your reporting obligations, please see the suspicious matter reports page.