Plenty of serious financial crime in Australia

20 October 2016
AUSTRAC 2015-16 annual report released highlighting financial crime in Australia.

When it comes to financial crime, there seems to be plenty happening in Australia.  AUSTRAC has reported that in 2015-16 it received more than 78,000 suspicious matter reports (SMRs) and suspect transaction reports (SUSTRs) from reporting entities. Partner agencies conducted 906,119 online activities using AUSTRAC’s database, equating to 5,000 each day, or 3.4 searches every minute.

And it’s profitable work:  AUSTRAC information contributed to 3,990 Australian Taxation Office (ATO) cases, resulting in $152 million in debt collection.

So who is AUSTRAC?

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is Australia’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulator. The agency is the primary source for financial intelligence in Australia.

AUSTRAC collects, collates and analyses information from reports on financial transactions and suspicious matters, submitted by regulated businesses. Essentially, AUSTRAC’s analysts ‘join the dots’ to provide a valuable financial intelligence picture.

The resulting financial intelligence is provided to partner agencies including law enforcement, national security, human services and revenue agencies, as well as international counterparts.

This assists in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of serious criminal activity including ML/TF, organised crime and tax evasion.

Over the past 12 months, AUSTRAC data has contributed to the following:

287 DHS cases leading to $8.4 million in savings
3,990 ATO cases leading to $152 million in income tax assessments
814 financial intelligence reports
906,119 database searches by partner agencies
6,009 suspicious matter reports and suspect transaction reports made available to partner agencies


Overall, AUSTRAC has made a $2.8 billion contribution to tax assessment and debt collections over the past 10 years.

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