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Director of remittance business jailed for laundering cash for criminals

Image on money handing on washing line

AUSTRAC provided financial intelligence to assist law enforcement with their investigation into a remitter suspected of laundering illicit funds for crime syndicates.

AUSTRAC analysis identified additional entities, bank accounts and telephone numbers associated with the remitter. The remittance company director was charged and pleaded guilty to dealing with money reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of crime. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment and given an 18-month good behaviour bond.

Law enforcement commenced an investigation into a remittance company and its directors who were suspected of laundering illicit funds for criminal syndicates and individuals. The company also operated as a legitimate remitter sending funds primarily to individuals in Iran and Iraq.

Through its regular financial transaction reporting to AUSTRAC, the remittance company reported sending AUD6 million to Iran and Iraq on behalf of its legitimate customers. However, according to transaction data submitted by banks which dealt with the remittance business as a customer, the remitter sent AUD3.66 million to overseas beneficiaries over the same period. This resulted in a AUD2.34 million shortfall between the amount of money the remitter company claimed to have sent overseas and the amount the company actually remitted. The bank transaction data also showed that the remitter made significant cash deposits (cash deposits of AUD10,000 or more) totalling AUD3.14 million.

Along with the company director, a number of other individuals also played a key role in the company, including an associate and his son.

The company director was charged and pleaded guilty to dealing with money reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of crime contrary to section 400.9(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment and given an 18-month good behaviour bond. He also received a forfeiture order under section 48 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 allowing for the seizure of AUD225,000 The other two men were not charged.

Offence Money laundering
Customer
  • Individual
  • Business
Industry Remittance services
Channel Electronic
Report type IFTI
Jurisdiction International – Iran, Iraq
Designated service Remittance services (money transfers)
Indicators
  • International funds transfers to high-risk jurisdiction
  • Large cash deposits used to pay for IFTIs
  • Third-party cash deposits
Last modified: 30/07/2015 15:35