AUSTRAC cracks down on non-compliance

Businesses fined for reporting failures

AUSTRAC cracks down on non-compliance


By Mina Martin

AUSTRAC, Australia's financial intelligence and regulatory body, has issued infringement notices to a diverse group of businesses and sole traders, ranging from pubs and clubs to financial service providers, for not meeting their reporting duties under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).

The eight companies slapped with infringement notices included Albany Capital Investors, Archiwoods Capital, CP2 Investment Services, Global Capital Management, John Charles Duffy, Katoomba RSL, Paul Kevin Klein, and Powered Investments.

Widespread non-compliance

The notices, which varied from $3,300 for sole traders to $16,500 for companies per violation, were primarily for failing to submit the 2022 annual compliance report.

AUSTRAC CEO Brendan Thomas (pictured above) said that ensuring business compliance and utilising enforcement measures are crucial steps in protecting Australian communities from serious crime.

AUSTRAC’s ongoing monitoring and enforcement

AUSTRAC has expressed its commitment to continuing the monitoring of compliance and has stated it will not hesitate to enforce penalties for non-compliance.

This stance underscores the importance of adherence to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, AUSTRAC said.

“Criminals and terrorists target businesses with weak anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing settings, which is why continued industry engagement is crucial,” Thomas said in a media release.

“The annual compliance report helps AUSTRAC assess whether financial services providers are complying with our laws and identify problem areas that may lead to vulnerabilities in Australia’s financial system.”

Current legal proceedings

In addition to the infringement notices, AUSTRAC has been actively pursuing legal actions against major offenders. Notably, court proceedings are ongoing against entities like SkyCity Adelaide and The Star Entities for significant breaches of the AML/CTF laws, with substantial penalties proposed.

For a detailed list of businesses that received notices and other enforcement action from AUSTRAC, including civil penalty orders, enforceable undertakings, and remedial actions, visit the regulator’s website.

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