A two year study by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has revealed that fraud, money laundering and insider trading are the most common criminal activities on the share market. According to AUSTRAC close to half the 663 suspicious matters reported to it from the securities and derivatives directly related to fraud; half of which were related to cybercrime.
Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, released AUSTRAC’s Securities & derivatives sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment on 12 July 2017. This report represents the fourth risk assessment of the financial sector undertaken by the Government’s financial intelligence agency. According to a media release, the report was developed in conjunction with key industry players, including stockbroking firms, online traders and banks.
According to the media release, the main points revealed by the report include:
Mr Keenan stressed the integral nature of the financial markets to Australia’s economy and any potential threats it might face:
More alarmingly, the report also uncovered evidence of foreign criminal gangs using Australia as part of Asia-Pacific money laundering operations. According to an ABC report:
The report recommended that financial institutions must strengthen their reporting systems and work on the ‘vulnerability’ of their front-office staff. AUSTRAC expressed concerns that more than half of Australia’s trading and settling organisations did not report a single instance of suspicious activities between April 2014 and March 2016. It said:
Minister Keenan said the Coalition Government, and law enforcement and intelligence agencies, are committed to working with the financial sector to harden their domestic and international operations to undermine the business models of crooks and remove the profits from their crimes.
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