Big task for AUSTRAC head
New AUSTRAC chief Nicole Rose says there is a shocking level of money laundering in the economy.
“I thought coming from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that I had a pretty good handle on serious and organised crime,” she told the ABC.
“I didn't appreciate the depth and breadth of involvement with private entities and banks. I didn't appreciate how many industries it does actually touch.
“There's a misperception that money laundering is a victimless white collar crime that's probably just looking at tax avoidance.
“It has a massive impact on everyday life whether that's child exploitation, serious and organised crime or drug importation. It all involves money laundering.”
Ms Rose became chief executive of the Australian Transactions Reports & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) late last year.
It means she takes on AUSTRAC's high stakes case against the Commonwealth Bank over almost 54,000 alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws.
Ms Rose said Australian banks appear to be aware of the money laundering risk.
“They've been very keen to come and discuss ways in which they can help with the money laundering and terrorism financing fight and I've been really impressed with some of the ideas that they've had,” she said.
“I think they're 100 per cent onboard.”
Ms Rose said the $10,000 reporting threshold on bank cash transactions could be extended to real estate agents, accountants and lawyers.
“That's going to take a little bit longer,” she said.
“Obviously that would have a big impost on small businesses and that's something the Government is very mindful of.
“But we constantly review it because people aren't walking around the way they use to with big wads and suitcases of cash.
“So we are looking at how people are moving money around and constantly assessing whether those levels ($10,000) are sufficient for us to keep an eye on what's happening.”