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Australia & Indonesia To Fight Money Laundering

Australia And Indonesia Strengthen Ability To Fight Money Laundering And Terrorist Financing

Australia and Indonesia have agreed to exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced today.

In a significant step in developing financial intelligence links to combat terrorism, money laundering and other major crimes, a memorandum of understanding has been developed between Indonesia's financial intelligence unit, the PPATK and Australia's AUSTRAC.

The MOU has been signed today by the Attorney-General and the head of PPATK, Mr Yunus Husein, at the Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter-Terrorism in Bali.

"Developing strong links with our international partners does much to extend and strengthen the international exchange network of financial intelligence," Mr Ruddock said.

"The ability to share intelligence internationally is vital in the prevention and detection of financial crimes, money laundering and other serious crimes. This agreement will enhance the ability of AUSTRAC to prevent terrorism by targeting money laundering and other suspect transactions."

The value of intelligence has been well documented in investigations by law enforcement and revenue agencies in Australia and overseas.

"Australia is at the leading edge of the international effort to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Cooperation between countries to attack money laundering activities is a significant contributor to fighting transnational crime, including terrorism," Mr Ruddock said.

"This agreement between Indonesia and Australia will make it increasingly difficult for money launderers and terrorism financiers to escape detection."

The MOU is the 25th such agreement for AUSTRAC. It is based on the ?international best practice' standard developed by the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

Since the beginning of 2003, AUSTRAC has been providing assistance to PPATK as part of a capacity building project under the $10 million assistance package to Indonesia, announced by the Prime Minister immediately following the Bali Bombings in 2002.

Australia already has agreements to exchange financial intelligence with Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Guernsey, Korea, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the USA, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

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