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Australia Takes Action: $166M Investment to Strengthen AML/CTF Regime

Australia is taking proactive steps to bolster its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime, with a significant investment of $166.4 million announced in the upcoming Budget. The move comes amidst concerns over the country's potential placement on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) "grey list," according to Attorney General Mark Dreyfus.

Australia Takes Action: $166M Investment to Strengthen AML/CTF Regime

Dreyfus highlighted the urgency of the situation, noting that Australia currently lacks regulation of tranche-two entities, including lawyers, accountants, trust and company service providers, real estate agents, and dealers in precious metals and stones. This regulatory gap places Australia at risk of FATF's "grey list," which could have detrimental effects on the economy.

"The $166M investment will be used to enable the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to implement the new regime and to support industries meet their obligations," Dreyfus stated. The aim is not only to ensure compliance but also to provide comprehensive education and guidance to businesses, particularly those newly regulated.

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Dreyfus also pointed out the consequences of previous government inaction, stating that Australia's failure to meet international standards increases the risk of becoming a haven for money laundering. The current Albanese Government has initiated consultations on AML/CTF reforms, demonstrating a commitment to combatting financial crime after years of neglect.

These reforms are crucial in supporting law enforcement efforts against transnational crime and safeguarding Australians, Dreyfus emphasized. He highlighted the significant sums of illicit funds generated annually through various illegal activities, including drug trafficking, tax evasion, cybercrime, and arms trafficking.

In conclusion, Australia's investment in AML/CTF reforms underscores its commitment to combatting financial crime and ensuring the integrity of its financial system. The government's proactive approach aims to address regulatory gaps and strengthen partnerships with law enforcement agencies to protect the country from the threats posed by criminal activities.



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