AUSTRAC’s internationalist approach to combating money laundering


Organized crime groups have taken to advanced technological developments to perpetrate their nefarious act to launder funds across border. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has provided a technique it is leveraging to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Being an international member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units,  Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), AUSTRAC has its officers located in FIUs across Southeast Asia, the US and UK to strengthen partnerships and collective intelligence with those jurisdictions. 419 delegates from 120 countries were present at the 25th Egmont Plenary in Sydney from 23 to 28 September 2018, an event which theme was on public-private partnership and how these sectors can cooperate to fight financial crime, demonstrated through successful ventures such as the Fintel Alliance.

AUSTRAC was also an attendee at the Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) Summit attended by heads of FIUs, senior representatives from regulatory, law enforcement and national security agencies, as well as delegates from industry and academia. Resolutions of the summit include the creation of practical guides for industry, for example, to identify ‘red flags’ for money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as plans for improved international cooperation and information exchange. The outcome of the CTF summit is being taken and put to actions by the Financial Intelligence Consultative Group (FICG), an operational arm of the CTF Summit which consists of the heads of intelligence from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia and New Zealand.
Through the first financial intelligence codeathon, technology experts are poised to work harmoniously to solve AML/CTF challenges such as the use of big data to fight terrorist financing, applying artificial intelligence to improve AML/CTF compliance and suspicious matter reporting and applying blockchain technologies to improve financial services, AML compliance and secure intelligence sharing.