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Media releases

Australia’s anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC is hosting the inaugural Pacific Financial Intelligence Analyst Course which commences at the Australian National University (ANU) today.

New technologies are changing the financial landscape in the Pacific which transnational crime syndicates are exploiting. AUSTRAC’s partnership with Pacific financial intelligence units mitigates these vulnerabilities, and ensures Pacific Islands are not seen as an attractive conduit by criminals.

The AUSTRAC-led Fintel Alliance has been awarded the Best Collaboration of the Year Award by the International Compliance Association (ICA). The award recognises the collaborative efforts of the Fintel Alliance to identify and disrupt organised crime syndicates using automatic teller machines (ATMs) to launder the proceeds of crime.

AUSTRAC has accepted an enforceable undertaking from National Australia Bank (NAB) to uplift its compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws.

AUSTRAC and the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) have strengthened their cooperation in the fight against serious financial crime through the signing of an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU will enable AUSTRAC and VGCCC to share information to protect the community by strengthening the gambling sector against criminal abuse. AUSTRAC also has MOUs with state and territory-based gambling regulators in NSW, QLD and ACT to enable strong partnerships and collaboration.

AUSTRAC has released two new financial crime guides to help businesses stop ransomware attack payments and the criminal abuse of digital currencies.

Cyber-enabled crime is an increasing threat to Australians. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), 500 ransomware attacks were reported in the 2020-21 financial year, an increase of nearly 15 per cent from the previous year.

AUSTRAC will today commence civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth for alleged serious and systemic non-compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws.

This action follows proactive compliance work with the casino sector which led to a number of detailed enforcement investigations including into Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth’s compliance.

AUSTRAC has ordered the appointment of an external auditor to three entities within the Bell Financial Group, including Bell Potter Securities Limited, Bell Potter Capital Limited and Third Party Platform Pty Ltd.

The appointed external auditor will be authorised by AUSTRAC to assess the three entities’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (AML/CTF Rules).

A new financial crime guide from AUSTRAC will help businesses identify and report suspicious activity related to forced sexual servitude. Forced sexual servitude is a form of slavery and represents around 30% of slavery cases in Australia.

Victims are forced to provide sexual services against their will, are unable to refuse violent or unsafe practices, and must hand over most – if not all – of their money to the perpetrators. It is a lucrative business for criminals, who make significant profits through this criminal activity.

A new financial crime guide will help financial services businesses detect and report suspicious transactions indicative of fraud and misuse of emergency and disaster payments administered through Services Australia.

A new financial crime guide will help businesses understand, identify and report technology-facilitated abuse through financial transaction payment text fields. AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance has seen an increase in the use of these fields to stalk, harass or threaten victims, in an attempt to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.