STONEWALLING ONCE AGAIN!
A lack of reporting requirements mean no-one knows how big the problem really is …
In the lead-up to the May 2019 Election Shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, committed Labor to implementing the second tranche of AML rules …
Photo: AUSTRALIA’S DIRTY WASHING – MONEY LAUNDERING IN AUSTRALIAN REAL ESTATE | ABC NEWS
Australia shamed again on property money laundering
November 11, 2019 | 11 comments
The Australian Banking Association and the Greens are calling on the federal government to tighten anti-money laundering laws.
The Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce has complained for some time that Australia’s anti-money laundering laws do not require real estate agents, accountants and lawyers to report suspicious transactions; it is expected to repeat these complaints when it issues its latest report before the end of 2019.
AUSTRAC has estimated that there were $1 billion worth of in suspicious transactions in the Australian property market from China in the 2016 fiscal year. From The AFR:
The Financial Action Taskforce, which sits under the G7 major world economies, is due to release its latest report before Christmas and those who have seen an early draft say it will make for uncomfortable reading in Canberra.
“We’re going to get another kicking,” said one person familiar with the process…
It is understood the government is due to receive a submission from the Department of Home Affairs by Christmas, which would outline options to toughen Australia’s anti-money laundering regime…
“The exemption for lawyers, accountants and real estate agents is a gaping hole in Australia’s anti-money laundering laws,” said Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
“We’ve had 13 years of inaction, from both Liberal and Labor governments, on the fabled Tranche II”…
“In particular, investors are using real estate as a safe haven and to clean up money coming out of China,” he said…
“The ABA recommends progressing the Tranche II reforms as a priority. It is vital that Australia closes the current gaps in the Australian money laundering/terrorism financing regime,” its submission said.
The funniest part above is the statement that “the government is due to receive a submission from the Department of Home Affairs by Christmas, which would outline options to toughen Australia’s anti-money laundering regime”.
The federal government conducted similar consultations on the anti-money laundering second tranche in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017 – all of which failed to deliver legislation as promised. And now the government appears to be stonewalling once again.
The whole situation is a complete farce, with the federal government complicit in the dirty money washing through Australia’s homes.