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4 December 2013 - Review of Anti-Money Laundering Laws announced

Minister for Justice

Review of Anti-Money Laundering Laws Announced

4 December 2013

The Minister for Justice, the Hon. Michael Keenan MP, today announced a review of Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws.

“The Coalition Government is committed to protecting Australia’s financial system, and these laws play a vital role in tracking and identifying money laundering—the lifeblood of criminal gangs—and other criminal activities such as terrorism financing,” Mr Keenan said.

“Transaction information provided under AML/CTF laws is vital for following the money trail to crack down on serious and organised crime groups, such as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, profiting from illegal activities.”

In 2012–13 regulated business submitted more than 84 million transaction reports to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

AUSTRAC converts this reporting into financial intelligence and provides it to law enforcement, national security, revenue collection, regulatory and social justice agencies.

Mr Keenan said AUSTRAC’s typologies and case studies report 2013, released today, demonstrates the value of reporting financial transactions and suspicious matters.

“This is the business sector and the Government working together to improve the integrity of Australia’s financial system, detect criminal activity and protect the community,” Mr Keenan said.

“The 2013 report includes examples of crimes such as money laundering, drug trafficking, child exploitation, fraud and tax evasion.

“We will continue to improve detection of criminals who look for new ways to launder money and hide the proceeds of crime,” Mr Keenan said.

The AML/CTF Act, Rules and Regulations together cover more than 13,800 businesses, including domestic and foreign owned banks, money transfer businesses (known as remittance dealers) and casinos.

“The review of Australia’s AML/CTF laws—which is required by section 251 of the AML/CTF Act—provides an opportunity to consult businesses and identify possible enhancements and simplifications to make these laws even more effective,” Mr Keenan said.

The Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for the review. A report is expected to be provided to the Minister for Justice in 2015 and will be tabled in Parliament.

Terms of reference for the review and an Issues Paper which outlines key areas for consideration are available on the Attorney-General’s Department website at http://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages/StatReviewAntiMoneyLaunderingCounterTerrorismFinActCth2006.aspx.

The 2013 typologies and case studies report is available from www.austrac.gov.au.