Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF)
What does AUSTRAC do?
AUSTRAC is an acronym which stands for Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. It is a government department. Their vision and ultimate goal is to help regulate and create a financial system that is free from any criminal abuse, including money laundering and terrorism financing.
How do they realise this vision?
They realise this vision through three main principles:
1. Discover: They will continuously monitor existing money laundering and terrorism financing threats as well as detecting emerging threats.
2. Understand: AUSTRAC aims to understand the complexities of money laundering and terrorism financing through their financial information, intelligence and products.
3. Disrupt: Once the threats are discovered and understood, the will endeavour to disrupt such behaviour by supporting and influencing policy and law reform that aim to combat this.
What is Money Laundering?
Firstly, proceeds obtained from illegal means are considered ‘dirty’ as they are unable to be spent without the money being tracked back to their criminal activities. Secondly, the criminals will need a way to report their proceeds to the Australian Taxation Office. Therefore, criminals will often attempt to ‘clean’ this money by way of involving in cash-based businesses. However, nowadays, with the rapid growth of the technology, this has offered to criminals to spend their criminal proceeds in a more creative and better way. For example, by way of using Bitcoin, a virtual currency, to make detecting the illegal transfer of money even more difficult. Another example will be the Cryptocurrencies which are increasingly being used in drug trade and other criminal activities due to their anonymous nature in comparison with other forms of currency.
What is Terrorism Financing?
Terrorism financing refers to situations where an individual or entity provides funds to terrorists. Terrorists require these funds to carry out their activities. This is strongly against AUSTRAC and our values. Individuals or entities may use money laundering in order to provide these funds to terrorists. However, the amounts relating to terrorism financing is relatively smaller and thus it is much more difficult for AUSTRAC to detect and suspect these transactions. If you would like more information please refer to the Terrorism financing in Australia 2014 report on AUSTRAC’s website.
AML / CTF Policy
As required by a reporting entity, SDCE understands and carries out its obligations under the AML/ACT Act. To assist AUSTRAC with its vision, we undertake customer due diligence and report suspicious matters to them on an on-going basis. This also requires that we verify and keep records of the customer’s identity (i.e. Drivers License, Passport, Medicare). SDCE strongly believes in AUSTRAC’s vision and goals to prevent money laundering & terrorism financing and further discourages this on our platform.