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Understand our intelligence function and how it works

20 April 2023

As Australia’s financial intelligence unit, AUSTRAC analyses the information shared by businesses through suspicious matter reporting and other financial transactions to generate financial intelligence that contributes to law enforcement investigations and outcomes. Our work is aligned with Australia’s money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) risk profile and reflects the priorities and intelligence requirements of our key law enforcement, national security and regulatory partners. Some of the external drivers that influence AUSTRAC’s intelligence priorities and focus areas include:

  • Australian Intelligence Missions that address priority requirements of the Australian Government – coordinated by the Office of National Intelligence (ONI)
  • Serious and Organised Crime priorities – set by the Serious and Organised Crime Coordination Committee (SOCCC)
  • Whole-of-Government priorities – set by the National Cabinet and relevant ministers
  • International AML/CTF expectations and standards – set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
  • National Risk Assessments (on money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation funding)
  • Fintel Alliance Executive Board Lines of Effort
  • Projects and working groups of the Egmont Group of FIUs.

To support these priorities, we utilise our robust partnerships and collaboration with industry and government partners to provide critical intelligence to law enforcement, intelligence, regulatory, revenue and border agencies that directly leads to harm prevention and disruption such as arrests and convictions. We are an active member of domestic and international multi-agency task forces and projects addressing international sanctions and serious and organised crimes, including money laundering, foreign interference, fraud, environmental crime and child sexual exploitation offences.

What regulated businesses need to do

To assist our regulated businesses to understand, identify and report suspicious activity, AUSTRAC develops Financial Crime Guides in partnership with government and industry partners. These guides provide information to assist with identifying behaviours and indicators associated with a range of priority crime types and have real-world impacts.

Businesses can use these guides to develop risk profiles and transaction monitoring programs to identify and stop financial transactions associated with money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes that are a priority for law enforcement and national security partners.