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Australia – Regulator AUSTRAC Boosts Financial Intelligence Capacity In Bid To Tackle International Terrorism And Crime.

29 June, 2015

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – Regulatory & Compliance

 

On 25 June 2015, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia, providing clear channels for the exchange and analysis of financial intelligence with AUSTRAC’s Russian counterpart, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (FFMS Russia).


Australia’s Minister of Justice has hailed the negotiation and signing of this MoU as an important milestone in the strengthening of AUSTRAC’s capacity to follow the money trail in Australia’s efforts to counter organised crime and international terrorism.


Summary Of The Arrangements 


While the details of the Russian MoU are yet to be released to the public, it is understood that the agreement sets out the terms for exchanging financial information between the two countries, with protections surrounding confidentiality and the manner in which the information can be used. 

In particular, the new MoU is expected to enhance AUSTRAC’s capacity to administer the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Act 2006 (Cth) and adjunct Rules by strengthening its ability to monitor and analyse suspicious international funds transfers and illicit trades coming into Australia from the Middle East, Russia, and the Caribbean. 

The financial intelligence gathered by AUSTRAC under the MoU will be sent to Federal and state law enforcement, national security and other government agencies in a bid to detect and disrupt illegal operations.


Next Steps


It is important for Australian financial service providers with locations or customers in the Middle East, Russia, and the Caribbean to understand and consider the likely effect of this MoU on their businesses. 


If you require any assistance with your anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) programs in this regard, please get in touch with a member of our Sydney team using the contact details provided.


For More Information 


To view a complete list of the 76 countries with whom AUSTRAC has entered into information exchange instruments, click here


To view AUSTRAC’s Press Release in full, click here.


To view the Minister of Justice’s Press Release in full, click here.

 

Baker McKenzie

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Astrid Raetze, Partner, Baker & McKenzie

[email protected]

 

Emma Hunter, Baker & McKenzie

[email protected]

 

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