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Australia and Canada unite to share intelligence in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing

E09/03

Australia and Canada unite to share intelligence in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing Australia and Canada will exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism under a Memorandum of Understanding signed today by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison.

This significant agreement between the Governments of Australia and Canada has already been signed by the Honourable John Manley, Minister for Finance for Canada, and comes into effect today.

Senator Ellison said AUSTRAC, Australia's anti-money laundering regulator and specialist financial intelligence unit, already had a strong relationship with its Canadian counterpart - the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

AUSTRAC and FINTRAC will, to the full extent allowed by the laws of both countries, share information to aid investigation and prosecution of money launderers and the financiers of terrorism.

"The signing of this agreement with Canada is another important step in the establishment of an international network to facilitate the prevention and detection of money laundering and other financial crimes,' Senator Ellison said. 'Cooperation between countries on anti-money laundering activities is a significant contributor to fighting transnational crimes, including terrorism and organised crime syndicates.

"I am very pleased to be signing an MOU with Canada, which is a valued partner of Australia in international law enforcement efforts.' Canada was represented at the signing this morning by High Commissioner Jean T. Fournier, who was closely involved in the development of Canada's anti-money laundering legislation in his previous capacity in the Canadian Government. AUSTRAC Director Neil Jensen was also present.

This will be the 13th such Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Australia. It comes just one day after Senator Ellison announced a similar agreement had been made with Malaysia. Australia already has agreements in place with Belgium, Denmark, France, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Vanuatu.

"These agreements assist in increasing the exchange of financial intelligence and will have a significant impact on the identification and investigation of criminal activity,' Senator Ellison said. 'Australia is at the leading edge of work in this field and AUSTRAC is currently working to settle agreements to exchange financial intelligence with a number of other countries.'

Media inquiries:

Mairi Barton. Ph 02 6277 7260 or 0439 300 335

Media Backgrounder:

Australia and Canada to exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism Australia has today taken another step forward in the war against terror and money laundering through this significant agreement with the Canadian Government. The Memorandum of Understanding.

This MOU facilitates the detection and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities as well as the investigation and prosecution of money laundering or the financing of terrorist activities.

It sets out a framework whereby AUSTRAC and FINTRAC will, to the full extent allowed by the laws of their respective countries, provide each other information they have reasonable grounds to suspect would be relevant to the investigation or prosecution of money laundering or the financing of terrorist activities.

It also allows for exchange of information on the nature and extent of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, measures that have or might be taken to detect, prevent and deter money laundering and
the financing of terrorist activities, and the effectiveness of these measures. The information exchanged is to be used for intelligence purposes.

Other Memoranda of Understanding for Exchange of Financial Intelligence. This will be the 13th MOU for Australia.

The previous 12 agreements are with:

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Vanuatu

AUSTRAC is currently working to settle MOUs with a number of other countries. All MOUs signed by Australia for exchange of financial intelligence are of the same form, with modifications as appropriate to take account of various countries' legislation, and achieve the same end as this MOU with Canada.

These agreements assist in increasing the exchange of financial intelligence and have a significant impact on identification and investigation of serious criminal activity.

Last modified: 02/07/2014 00:00