More money laundering prosecutions are needed, according to the head of Australia's financial intelligence agency, Austrac, in order for the country to avoid falling foul of international watchdogs.
Nicole Rose acknowledged that persuading Australian board members and chief executives to take money laundering seriously had been a "hard journey," but she emphasized that the regulator's legal action had helped things improve.
She warned that the Australian gambling industry would need to do more to improve its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing defenses, as the regulator is now scrutinizing the industry.
According to The Guardian, Ms Rose revealed at an ACAMs conference that the number of prosecutions undertaken by Australia would serve as a benchmark for its compliance with FATF standards, with their evaluation set for 2025.
"More resources either to be diverted or to be given to law enforcement for money laundering investigations and prosecutions," she said.
"When I started at Austrac, just over four and a half years ago, I was perplexed by the blank expressions I received in response to raising the devastating causes and impacts of money laundering on our community," Ms Rose said, adding that she had been on a "action-packed journey over the past five or so years."
Australia did poorly in its previous evaluation in 2016 due to a lack of a beneficial ownership register and the implementation of "tranche 2" reforms that bring real estate agents and lawyers into the anti-money laundering system.
By fLEXI tEAM