Australia Invests $166.4 Million in AML/CTF Reforms

May 6, 2024

Australia is investing $166.4 million in  AML/CFT reforms to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This significant change within the upcoming budget demonstrates the government’s desire to address financial crimes.

Why The Urgency?

According to the media release, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said

“Australia is now one of only five jurisdictions out of more than 200 that do not regulate tranche-two entities, lawyers, accountants, trust and company service providers, real estate agents and dealers in precious metals and stones,”

Tax evasion, human trafficking, drug trafficking, cybercrime, and corruption are responsible for producing billions in illegal revenue annually, he stated.

Also Read: Convertible Virtual Currency is being Used for Child Abuse and Human Trafficking – Reveals FinCEN

AUSTRAC estimates that in 2020 criminals linked to countries such as China have laundered $1 billion through Australian real estate. The Transparency International Australia report shows that 118 properties worth $110 million were settled in Australia by Cambodian overseas individuals in 2022. Additionally, $516 million was moved from Cambodia to Australia in 2020 through Australian reporting entities.

Moreover, Australia wants to avoid landing on FATF’s “grey list” of countries that do not effectively tackle financial crime. This creates problems for the economy.

What’s The Strategy?

The plan is to fix loopholes and tighten “Tranche-2” regulations to prevent criminals from abusing the financial system.

This investment will enable the AUSTRAC to implement the new regime effectively. Additionally, it will help industries meet their obligations under the revised AML/CFT framework. AUSTRAC will also provide comprehensive education and guidance to help businesses, particularly newly regulated entities, navigate the changes.

The substantial investment shows the Albanian government’s commitment to righting past mistakes. It aims to protect the financial system from illegal financing through AML/CFT measures.