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25 June 2015—AUSTRAC to exchange financial intelligence to help stop international crime

Minister for Justice

AUSTRAC to exchange financial intelligence to help stop international crime

25 June 2015

AUSTRAC has further strengthened its capacity to follow the money trail and protect Australia’s financial system from criminal abuse with the signing today of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Russia.

The MOU, signed in Brisbane by the AUSTRAC CEO Paul Jevtovic, follows similar arrangements struck with Bahrain and the Turks and Caicos Islands earlier this month.

AUSTRAC now has 76 arrangements to share financial intelligence with foreign counterparts.

These MOUs are significant in helping to track laundered proceeds of crime and terrorism financing through a range of financial channels.

They are part of the Coalition Government’s priority for AUSTRAC to stop cash being funnelled to terrorists from Australia, and to crack down on money laundering by organised crime that funds illicit trades such as drugs and guns.

Following the money trail is an essential element of tackling serious and organised crime and international cooperation is vital in detecting and disrupting illegal operations.

Collaboration on financial intelligence with our international partners strengthens Australia’s national security.

These MOUs will enhance our capacity to counter the terror threat and combat transnational crime in the critical regions of the Middle East, Russia and the Caribbean. They set out the terms for exchanging information, with protections around confidentiality and the ways the information can be used.

In Australia, banks, casinos and various organisations are required to submit transaction reports to AUSTRAC. In 2013-14, more than 85 million international funds transfer instructions and more than 60,000 suspicious matters were reported to AUSTRAC.

This information is analysed by AUSTRAC who sends financial intelligence to Federal and state law enforcement, national security and other government agencies.