AUSTRAC insights: Money laundering and terrorism financing in Australia

The reports have included casinos as one of the sectors vulnerable to money laundering.

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Australia has recently published two national risk assessment reports, highlighting the threats of money laundering and terrorism financing, where casinos are mentioned as one of the sectors at risk.

According to the first report titled “Money Laundering in Australia: National Risk Assessment,” traditional methods such as cash, banks, luxury goods, real estate and casinos are still the “preferred method” by launderers to conduct their operations despite the emergence of newer, sophisticated channels.

The second report, titled “Terrorism Financing in Australia: National Risk Assessment” found that aside from retail banking, remittance and exchanging cash, social media and crowdfunding platforms “have also become integral to fundraising terrorist activities,” in which the illegal funds are sent to overseas terrorist organisations and affiliated groups.

“Crimes like money laundering and terrorism financing erode trust in Australia’s financial system and the security of the Australian population. Criminals might be persistent, but so are we,” AUSTRAC CEO Brendan Thomas said.

“These NRAs will help strengthen Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime, which is a key component of the national, cooperative approach to countering serious and organised crime. It has been a joint effort that everyone should be proud of,” he added, saying that the NRAs also identifies sectors that are highly vulnerable to criminal exploitation but not covered by the current AML/CTF framework, in which the Government could then work on extending Australia’s AML/CTF framework to also include said vulnerable sectors.

Recently, Singapore has also done a similar risk assessment, which also identified their casinos as vulnerable to AML/CTF threats, and thus taken measures to counter the threats, starting with the lowered deposit threshold requiring due-diligence checks.


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