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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 17 July 2009 – 30 June 2010 Money laundering a major threat, says CMC report — 20.01.2010
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 17 July 2009 – 30 June 2010 Money laundering a major threat, says CMC report — 20.01.2010
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 17 July 2009 – 30 June 2010 Money laundering a major threat, says CMC report — 20.01.2010

Money laundering a major threat, says CMC report — 20.01.2010

The importance of a better understanding of money laundering techniques as a means of more effectively disrupting organised crime groups is emphasised in a strategic assessment report released today by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

The report, Money laundering and organised crime in Queensland is one of a regular series published by the CMC to raise community awareness of organised crime issues of concern to the Queensland community.

The report states that money laundering is undertaken by criminal organisations to legitimise the proceeds of crime which are estimated to be somewhere between $2.8 billion and $6.3 billion per annum in Australia.

It notes there are many money laundering techniques ranging from those as simple as buying assets in the name of a family member or gambling at a casino to complicated financial transactions involving international money transfers or complex business structures.

“If there is one constant in money laundering techniques, it is the manner in which they can change to counter law enforcement efforts and regulatory regimes and to take advantage of technological opportunities,” the report says.

It also notes that as a means of avoiding detection, organised crime groups may engage third parties known as ‘money mules’ to help move the proceeds of crime.

“This person may be recruited, often unknowingly, to receive sums of money into their own account and are then required to forward the money back to the organisers of the fraud.”

The report says warning signs of this technique include an unsolicited email offering a ‘too good to be true’ work-from-home opportunity, or a job advertisement that simply requires someone to receive and forward funds.

It states that law enforcement investigators in Queensland have traditionally focussed on gathering evidence and prosecuting offender for various offences, but have not always targeted the associated money laundering activity.

However, the report also points out that law enforcement agencies are becoming increasingly aware of the value of investigating these techniques to prevent criminal organisations benefiting from the proceeds of crime.

The agencies are also able to take advantage of legislation that reduces the ability of criminals to make use of the proceeds of crime.

This includes the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 which enables the confiscation of property derived directly or indirectly from criminal activity or property used in the commission of a criminal offence even if that property was lawfully acquired.

A 2009 amendment to the Act also allows for the potential prosecution of professional advisers who have assisted with money laundering schemes even if it cannot be established the individual knew the funds were tainted.

CMC Director of Intelligence Chris Keen said this amendment was important in restricting the ability of criminal organisations to develop money laundering strategies.

“Criminal groups frequently use their vast proceeds of crime to engage financial, technical or legal experts who can devise complex strategies to move or legitimise money and other assets,” Mr Keen said.

“Expanding the definition of money laundering to include those who provide such advice is one of the many strategies being use by law enforcement agencies to deal with organised crime in Queensland.

“The CMC has assessed money laundering as being a high level risk in terms of its cost to government, small business and financial institutions and ultimately the Australian public.

“The CMC therefore regards it as a priority to develop a better understanding of the money laundering strategies being developed and implemented so that law enforcement agencies can be more effective in countering them,” Mr Keen said.


NOTE:
CMC Director of Intelligence, Mr Chris Keen, is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview or for further information contact:
Stewart Sommerlad, Ph:  07 3360 6275     Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax:  3360 6235

Last updated: 07 December 2011
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