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Australia Expands its International Network to Fight Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

The Director of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Mr Neil Jensen PSM, today announced Australia had established six important instruments for the exchange of financial intelligence with international partners in Guernsey, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa and Venezuela.

Australia agreed to exchange vital financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism with these jurisdictions during the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units Annual Meeting held in Sydney this week.

Nearly 200 delegates from 80 countries and more than 10 international organisations involved in anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing activities are attending the 11th Annual Meeting of the Egmont Group of financial intelligence units in Sydney, hosted by AUSTRAC.

The series of ceremonial signings involving Mr Jensen and his counterparts from the Financial Intelligence Service (Guernsey), the Office for the Disclosure of Unusual Transactions (Netherlands), General Inspector of Financial Information (Poland), Unidade de Informação Financeira (Portugal), Financial Intelligence Centre (South Africa), and Superintendencia de Bancos y Otras Instituciones Financieras (Venezuela) represented a significant expansion of the international network with which AUSTRAC is working.

"The value of financial intelligence is critical and has been well documented in investigations by law enforcement and revenue agencies in Australia and overseas. 'Cooperation between countries on anti-money laundering activities is a significant contributor to fighting trans-national crime, including terrorism and organised crime syndicates,' Mr Jensen said.

This brings the number of agreements to 20 and builds on the three already established this year, with Canada, Malaysia and Korea. Australia also has agreements in place with Belgium, Denmark, France, the Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the USA and Vanuatu.

Mr Jensen said the agreements will have a significant impact on the identification and investigation of criminal activity. 'They are also an important component in AUSTRAC's contribution to Australia's National Illicit Drug Strategy.'

"Australia established its first Memorandums of Understanding for the exchange of financial intelligence in 1991. Since that time our international financial intelligence network has expanded at an increasing rate. Further agreements to exchange financial intelligence are likely to be negotiated by AUSTRAC in coming months,' Mr Jensen said.

Media inquiries: Rachelle Boyle on 0417294 969

Last modified: 02/07/2014 00:00