29 March 2023
Transparency International Australia welcomes consultation on overdue dirty money reforms
Transparency International Australia warmly welcomes the Albanese government’s announcement to commence consultation on long overdue reforms to Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime.
Australia is one of only three countries in the world without Tranche 2 requirements for our AML/CTF, meaning accountants, lawyers and real-estate agents are not required to report suspicious transactions and do proper customer due diligence on customers.
The result is that Australia is seen globally as an being open for business for kleptocrats and organised criminal syndicates, who are able to easily launder their money in Australian real estate and gambling sectors.
FATF also noted the flaw in the Australian system in that laws do not cover the ‘high-risk’ businesses – lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, precious stone dealers and trust and company service providers
Reforms to close these loopholes, known as Tranche 2, were first tabled in 2006 and would include the addition of lawyers, real estate agents, and other professions vulnerable to exploitation by transnational criminals, to the AML/CTF legal framework.
Transparency International Australia CEO Clancy Moore says:
“Transparency International Australia has called for these reforms for more than 15 years in order to stop service providers enabling crooks, criminals and kleptocrats to park their dirty money in our real-estate, gaming and other sectors of our economy and close this significant gap in Australia’s defences against money laundering and terrorism financing.”
“In 2015, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) noted “there are grave concerns over Australia’s efforts to fulfill its commitments. According to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Australia’s property market is an ‘attractive destination’ for the proceeds of corruption in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“In February, the AFP busted a $10 billion money-laundering syndicate Australia which further demonstrates that we are go-to destination for criminal gangs to wash their dirty money in our real estate sector and hide their illicit activities. This arguably could have an inflationary impact on house prices for the everyday Australian.”
“Our research shows at least 20 examples of lawyers in the past 7 years being convicted of enabling fraud, money laundering and tax avoidance worth billions of dollars. The the last few years have also seen a conveyor belt of money laundering scandals. This robs communities of revenue and allows criminals to hide their proceeds of crime. Clearly, it’s time for the government to introduce Tranche 2 reforms and crack down on these professions that enable money laundering to take place.”
Transparency International Australia’s research and analysis on AML/CTF reforms
2021 TIA Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee Inquiry into the Adequacy and Efficacy of Australia’s Anti-money Laundering and Counter-terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Regime
2021 TIA Submission Revisions to the Financial Action Task Force Recommendation 24 on Transparency and Beneficial Ownership
2021 TIA Submission to the Data Economy Unit Consultation Process on the Modernising Business Registers Program
2017 TIA Submission on Phase 1 Legislative Proposals Options for regulating lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, high-value dealers, real estate agents and trust and company service providers
Transparency International, Doors Wide Open: Corruption and Real Estate in Four Key Markets
Transparency International, Tainted Treasures, Money Laundering Risks in Luxury Markets
Transparency International, Real Estate Data: Shining a Light on the Corrupt
TIA, Stopping Russian Dirty Money – is Australia up to the task?
Money Laundering in Digital Currencies 2020 Position Paper