Remitter registration suspended: AVSForex Pty Ltd
AUSTRAC has suspended the registration of a Melbourne-based remittance provider, AVSForex Pty Ltd (AVSForex) following the conviction of its sole director for money laundering.
Announcing the suspension, AUSTRAC's acting CEO John Schmidt noted the collaboration with law enforcement agencies.
"The Australian Federal Police alerted AUSTRAC to information relating to AVSForex and its links to Operation Zanella, an AFP investigation targeting an international money laundering network," he said.
"AVSForex's registration on the AUSTRAC remittance sector register has been suspended, effective from 17 October.
"We have also invited AVSForex to provide submissions as to why we should not proceed to cancel its registration.
"It is an offence for AVSForex to provide a designated remittance service while its registration is suspended.
"Anyone thinking of transferring money overseas can go to our website and check the status of a remitter, including any registration conditions, before doing business with them."
Mr Schmidt, outlined the importance of the remitter registration scheme, which requires all businesses to be registered with AUSTRAC before commencing to provide remittance services.
"The scheme was established to ensure that remittance service providers implement the necessary measures to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and other risks.
"The money remittance sector is recognised internationally as being particularly vulnerable to exploitation by criminals.
"AUSTRAC is actively monitoring the behaviour of remitters and we are committed to taking action where it is required," Mr Schmidt said.
Since the AUSTRAC remittance sector register was established in November 2011:
- six entities have been refused registration
- three entities have had their registration cancelled
- 16 entities have had conditions imposed on their registration
- one other entity is currently suspended.
The notice of suspension of registration can be viewed on the Remittance registration actions page of the AUSTRAC website.
Issued by AUSTRAC Stakeholder Relations:
- Telephone: +61 3 8636 0588
Notices to suspend, and commencement of action to cancel registration, are available on the Remittance registration actions page of the AUSTRAC website.
The remittance sector register is available online.
AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) is Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator and specialist financial intelligence unit. AUSTRAC works with law enforcement and other agencies to protect the integrity of the Australian financial system and fight serious crimes such as drug trafficking, tax evasion, fraud and people smuggling.
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