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NEWS: Australia to spend $166M to stay off FATF ‘grey list’ and shore up its AML defences

By AML Intelligence Corrrespondent

IN A BID to stay off FATF’s “grey list” the country will invest $166.4 million in this month’s Budget to implement reforms to the country’s AML/CTF regime, it was announced today.

The news was made by the country’s Attorney General Mark Dreyfus who admitted that Australia was at risk of being grey-listed by FATF.

“Australia is now one of only five jurisdictions out of more than 200 that do not regulate tranche-two entities – lawyers, accountants, trust and company service providers, real estate agents and dealers in precious metals and stones,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“This is placing Australia at risk of being ‘grey-listed’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which could result in significant harm to our economy,” the AG addmitted.

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

The government also hopes it will allow AUSTRAC to deliver comprehensive education and guidance to support businesses, especially newly-regulated entities.

As a result of the former government’s failure to act up to now, the AG said Australia was falling short of meeting the standards required to combat criminal abuse of our financial system, and at increased risk of becoming a haven for money laundering.

The Albanese Government recently commenced the next stage of consultation on reforms to Australia’s AML/CTF regime, “demonstrating our commitment to combat criminal abuse of our financial system after nearly of a decade of inaction by the former government,” Mr Dreyfus said.

The reforms are critical in supporting law enforcement partners in their fight against transnational, serious and organised crime and protecting Australians, he added.

He said each year billions of dollars of illicit funds are generated from illegal activities such as drug trafficking, tax evasion, people smuggling, cybercrime, arms trafficking and other illegal and corrupt practices.

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