News

Austrac Warns of Money Laundering Risks Unless More Prosecutions are Conducted

  • Richard Marley
  • June 20, 2022
  • 2 minutes read
  • 361
blog_image

Austrac has warned the law enforcement agencies in Australia that they must conduct more money laundering prosecutions to comply with the international regulations.

Austrac is the head of Australia’s financial agencies and it has issued a warning to prevent the allegations that international authorities can impose if suitable money laundering measures are not taken. The agency warned the law enforcement agencies to conduct more money laundering prosecutions in the country as per international regulations.

According to Nicole Rose, the CEO of Austrac, it was not an easy task to convince the Australian chief executives and board members to take money laundering seriously. Austrac has taken several legal actions which included the record $1.3 billion fine on Westpac to build solid foundations of anti-money laundering regulations in Australia. 

She also mentioned that the gambling industry is also in the spotlight of the agency and also needs a lot more work to increase its credibility status in the market. 

Nicole also appeared at the conference organized by the association of certified anti-money laundering specialists (ACAMS). Addressing the conference she mentioned the necessity of the prosecution in accordance with anti-money laundering laws as the country will be measured for its compliance standards, set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Moreover, she thinks that the prosecution issue of money laundering is a lot more complex than executing drug charges. 

She also added: “When I started at Austrac, just over four and a half years ago, I was quite perplexed by the blank expressions I received in response to raising the devastating causes and impacts of money laundering on our community,”

In the last evaluation report of 2016, Australia did not perform well as the Morrison government failed to implement new reforms namely, “tranche 2” reforms for anti-money laundering systems created for evaluating real estate agents and lawyers. 

David Shannon, the director of the mutual evaluation process for the multi-lateral body, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering warned about the possibility of Australia being on the FATF “grey-list” as they are not doing well enough to combat money laundering and terror financing. 

“Theoretically FATF does list its own members for serious failures in non-compliance,” he said.

Suggested Read: Australia Risks Damage To Economy Unless Money Laundering Laws Are Improved