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The Australian gold corporation, the Perth Mint, escaped penalties for inadequate compliance systems with anti-money laundering regulations by accepting the voluntary undertaking.
The Perth Mint has been under investigation by the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) since August 2022. According to the AUSTRAC, The Perth Mint did not comply with international standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. AUSTRAC is probing their system with an external auditor investigating the company’s process to monitor customers’ onboarding and noticing whether they are correctly reporting to the regulator. This investigation found earlier this year that The Perth Mint sold the $27,000 gold to the biker without due diligence. The gold corporation should comply with strict regulations and uphold rigid checks before selling gold to high-risk customers, as well as examine their source of funds. However, noticing the given example of the gold company failed to comply with AML obligations.
The Perth Mint confessed that it had neglected to report foreign currency transfers as required by law and had not realised until 2021 that some anti-money laundering and counterterrorism funding regulations related to its operations. The AUSTRAC report was completed earlier this year, but the decision on how to respond was made public this morning. Theoretical loopholes, such as the gold company, can cause them fines of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. In a statement, AUSTRAC also appreciated their decision to accept an enforceable undertaking, which shows the commitment of the company to resolve the issue. AUSTRAC acting CEO Peter Soros stated, “the enforceable undertaking is necessary to ensure that Gold Corporation’s remediation remains on course, and we will continue to oversee their progress to ensure ongoing compliance.” If The Perth Mint did not comply with the laws, AUSTRAC stated they would enforce court laws or begin civil penalties against them in the federal court. The department added, “the [enforceable undertaking] will ensure that Gold Corporation commits sufficient resources to adequately implement its remediation program promptly or risk further enforcement action.”
A spokesperson for The Perth Mint stated, “We’re working hard to meet the expectations and maintain the trust of the WA community, the gold mining sector, our business partners and customers.” He mentioned reaching out to 70,000 clients to make sure their information was current. Paul Graham, who took over as CEO of The Perth Mint on Monday, stated that although the organisation had made mistakes in the past, its employees were dedicated to improving. Graham stated, “what I am more focused on is not what did we get wrong, what we are now doing to fix it and getting the training and development right for our staff and having the appropriate people in place to take the company forward.”