AUSTRAC signs historic MoU with China
An historic milestone this week will greatly enhance the ability of Australia’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, its Chinese counterpart, and law enforcement partners in protecting Australia and China against money laundering and terrorism financing.
CEO of AUSTRAC, Paul Jevtovic, said the formal signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between AUSTRAC and CAMLMAC (China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center), marks the successful conclusion of a long negotiation.
“Discussions about this MoU began in early 2015 and I’m proud to announce that we have now realised the vision that both our agencies have worked tirelessly towards,” Mr Jevtovic said.
“AUSTRAC’s data shows that the flow of money between the two countries has almost doubled since the 2011-12 financial year, from $42 billion to close to $77 billion in 2015-16. China is now Australia’s largest trading partner.
“Given China’s global trade volumes, regional dynamics and strategic importance, access to Chinese financial intelligence data will significantly enhance AUSTRAC’s analytical capacity and directly assist Australian law enforcement, border and regulatory agencies.
“China also stands to substantially enhance the breadth and quality of financial intelligence in its own fight against illegal money flows.
“There will be immediate collaboration under the MoU that will focus on exchanging high value financial transaction reports where there is an identified connection between China and Australia.”
Additional activity under various taskforces and joint operational projects can now also be further explored to support whole-of-government initiatives.
“This kind of collaboration is only possible under a formal MoU framework where there is transparency and accountability about how data will be used by both parties,” Mr Jevtovic said.
“It is anticipated that bilateral work and regular intelligence exchanges with CAMLMAC may also involve projects involving analyst exchanges between the two agencies in the future, to better understand and harness emerging technologies to combat serious financial crime.”
Mr Jevtovic said he was pleased the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan was also present for the important signing event in Beijing. He also acknowledged support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Attorney General’s Department and Australian Federal Police.
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