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Money Laundering Avenue Washed Up

Money Laundering Avenue Washed Up

Australia has taken another step forward in the war against terrorism and money laundering by negotiating a significant agreement with Singapore, Justice and Customs Minister Senator Chris Ellison announced today.

Senator Ellison said the newly-appointed Director of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) Neil Jensen had signed an agreement for the exchange of financial intelligence with the Singapore Government.

"The critical value of financial intelligence is now apparent," Senator Ellison said. "Its value has been well documented in law enforcement and revenue agencies investigations.

"The world's leaders have publicly recognised the need to find the money trail in fighting terrorism and Australia is at the leading edge of work in this field."

Senator Ellison said the Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore, which followed similar agreements by Australia with New Zealand and Vanuatu, was part of a push by the Government to stamp out opportunities for terrorist financing and money laundering in the region.

"The agreement with Singapore is the first of a number of agreements which will be signed this year with our neighbours," Senator Ellison said.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the Singapore Government by Mr Tan Siong Thye, Director Commercial Affairs Department, Singapore Police. The agreement provides for the exchange of financial intelligence between AUSTRAC and the Singapore Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO).

Mr Jensen has worked with AUSTRAC for the past 13 years. He said legislative amendments to the Financial Transaction Reports Act in July this year had enabled AUSTRAC to quickly progress agreements with Australia’s neighbours and other financial intelligence units around the world.

"AUSTRAC is the quiet achiever in law enforcement circles," Mr Jensen said.

"Its financial intelligence has contributed significantly to many major Australian and international investigations over the past 12 years."


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