Skip to main content

AUSTRAC joins Russia-Related Illicit Finance and Sanctions FIU Working Group

AUSTRAC is working with international partners, as well as Australia’s financial industry and partner agencies across government in a coordinated effort to track the movement of funds around the world and to identify opportunities to jointly target individuals and entities subject to sanctions.

To support a coordinated international approach, AUSTRAC has joined the Russia-Related Illicit Finance and Sanctions (RRIFS) FIU Working Group. The Working Group brings together FIUs that have extensive experience collaborating on financial intelligence matters and will allow us to focus and coordinate our efforts effectively.

AUSTRAC has also established a dedicated team which is monitoring financial reporting and analysing data to detect financial activity associated with Australia’s targeted financial sanctions against Russia to support of a whole of Australian Government approach.

The Working Group has released a Statement of Intent that will guide our collective efforts.

Russia-Related Illicit Finance and Sanctions FIU Working Group 

Statement of Intent 

We, the Financial Intelligence Units of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to herein as Working Group Members issue this statement of intent:

Recalling statements made by governments around the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, condemning Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war of choice against Ukraine, enabled by the Belarussian government (“the threat”);

Recognizing that the respective governments of the Working Group Members and the European Union have imposed several rounds of far-reaching economic and financial sanctions, and committed to imposing further sanctions in response to the threat;

Further recognizing that the governments of several Working Group Members and the European Commission, consistent with their respective legal frameworks, have agreed to establish an international task force to coordinate efforts related to sanctions and asset recovery;

Underscoring the need for FIUs to cooperate with law enforcement, prosecutors, other competent authorities, and the private sector, within the legal framework of the respective FIUs, to achieve the goals of the international task force and more generally to combat the associated illicit activities including money laundering, sanctions evasion, cyber threats, and corruption;  

Stressing the importance of the role of Financial Intelligence Units in the collection, sharing, analysis, dissemination, and use of financial intelligence to address money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, and

Recalling that, under the current international, EU and national legal frameworks, FIUs do not have a uniform and comprehensive legal basis and mandate to receive, analyse and share information on financial sanctions and related measures;

Affirm the need to identify concrete actions that participating Working Group Members, within their respective legal framework, can take individually or collectively to

  1. Enhance financial intelligence on sanction-related matters and associated financial flows and economic activities;
  2. Expedite and increase sharing of financial intelligence in sanction-related matters and associated financial flows and economic activities;
  3. Engage in discussions concerning FIU best practices, lessons learned, and opportunities for actions and partnerships to combat the threat; and
  4. Strengthen and facilitate working relationships between FIUs and competent public authorities and the private sector addressing the threat, including by engaging with task forces established by governments of the Working Group Members.