AUSTRAC’s international activities for 2023

In 2023, AUSTRAC’s international efforts strengthened collaboration and responded to money laundering and terrorism financing (“ML/TF”) threats

In 2023, AUSTRAC’s international efforts strengthened collaboration and responded to money laundering and terrorism financing (“ML/TF”) threats.

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AUSTRAC’s global financial intelligence collaboration is critical to combat transnational crimes including ML/TF and other serious crimes.

Engaging with other countries in the region and working with international partners to build capability and produce and share financial intelligence plays a significant role in maintaining Australia’s security.

In 2023, AUSTRAC’s international efforts strengthened collaboration and responded to ML/TF threats including through:

  • increases in intelligence exchanges on priority topics and greater financial intelligence collaboration with ASUTRAC’s international partners;
  • supporting Pacific Financial Intelligence Units (“FIU”) through specialist financial intelligence training and the roll-out of new IT systems, providing improved tradecraft and powerful data analysis tools for Pacific analysts;
  • the delivery of a Webinar Series on Virtual Assets to over 100 representatives to raise regional awareness of financial crime risks;
  • ongoing contribution to the Egmont Group’s projects and working groups, including the launch of the Egmont Secure Web which introduced a new Microsoft 365 Teams platform for enhanced international collaboration;
  • contributing to the leadership of Egmont Group through Deputy CEO of Intelligence John Moss in his capacity as the Regional Representative of the joint Asia Pacific Regional Group and the Governance Reference Group, and Director of National Security and Cyber Operations Alistair Sands who acts as a Vice Chair of the Information Exchange Working Group;
  • providing technical assistance and training, and improving intelligence collaboration with Southeast Asian FIUs, including a TF-focused multilateral intelligence sharing project between Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which has led to investigations in all three countries;
  • supporting the Financial Intelligence Consultative Group’s (which AUSTRAC co-leads) work plan, with a focus on regional fraud, terrorism financing and rollout of a regional information sharing platform to move beyond intelligence exchanges to real-time collaboration; and
  • supporting the 2023 AML/CTF Hackathon event led by FICG co-chair Malaysia to develop solutions together with public and private sectors to combat financial crime.
    In November, AUSTRAC also co-hosted with the Cook Islands FIU, the second annual Pacific Financial Intelligence Community (“PFIC”) Plenary in Rarotonga. Senior representatives from across the Pacific convened over three days to strengthen financial intelligence responses to ML/TF in the region. The Rarotonga statement builds on AUSTRAC’s 2023 focus areas including virtual assets and corruption with new focus areas for 2024 including money laundering linked to Transnational Serious and Organised Crime and narcotics trafficking and child sexual abuse and exploitation. PFIC will also seek out new strategic opportunities with other FIUs and regional bodies.
    Money laundering and terrorism financing are global crimes that Australia cannot tackle alone. AUSTRAC’s work with regional and global partners is essential to stay on top of evolving threats. This allows AUSTRAC to provide the best possible financial intelligence insights to law enforcement and intelligence agencies and achieve the disruptive outcomes that the community expects.

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