The Morrison Government is putting financial criminals on notice that their ill-gotten gains are squarely in the sites of AUSTRAC – Australia’s financial intelligence agency – with the opening of a new state-of-the-art Brisbane office for the agency.
Officially opened by Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews, the new premises are located in the heart of the Brisbane CBD and will equip AUSTRAC with the infrastructure and facilities it needs to continue combating money laundering, counter terrorism financing, fraud, racketeering, and other financial crimes.
“The new facility will enhance AUSTRAC’s ability to collaborate with key industries and law enforcement partners, tightening the net on those who would evade our laws or seek to hide their dirty money,” Minister Andrews said.
“Importantly, AUSTRAC’s intelligence plays a vital role in enforcing Australia’s Sanctions’ regime, which is more important than ever before. They also supply vital information to the Australian Federal Police and other law enforcement and security agencies.”
Over 16,000 businesses in Australia, including almost 400 digital currency exchange providers, are regulated by AUSTRAC, and they are the front line of defence against financial crime, including those that relate to sanctions. Regulated businesses, like banks, remitters, and digital currency exchanges, are required to report suspicious matters – which may include sanctions related transactions, to AUSTRAC.
“In 2020-21 the Morrison Government provided AUSTRAC with almost $105 million to strengthen the agency’s capacity to combat serious financial crime and assist industry meet reporting obligations,” Minister Andrews said.
“This funding boost has also enabled AUSTRAC to dedicate more resources and additional staff to ensure regulated businesses comply with their anti-money laundering obligations, and increase the detection of non-compliance.
“Now more than ever, AUSTRAC’s intelligence analysts must protect Australia’s financial system from serious and organised crime, to keep the community safe.”