Australia is to extend its anti-money laundering (AML) rules to cover domestic digital currency exchanges.
The country’s Ministry of Justice has announced that the legislation would seek to bring such exchanges within the jurisdiction of the Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country's chief financial intelligence office.
It believes that bringing digital currency exchange providers under the remit of AUSTRAC, strengthening AUSTRAC's investigation and enforcement powers and increasing police and customs officers' search and seizure powers will tackle the problem of money laundering and associated crimes.
The proposal comes just weeks after Australia’s Commonwealth Bank was accused of 53,700 breaches of anti-money laundering laws. The bank had failed to act on suspicions that its intelligent deposit machines were being used by drug syndicates to launder millions.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said that regardless of whether the new proposals become law in Australia, everyone doing business has to make sure their procedures are adequate for preventing money laundering.
He added: “Different countries have different laws regarding money laundering. But whatever the legislation wherever you are doing business – and whatever the nature of the transactions - the onus is on you to make sure you have done everything possible to ensure that you are not being used as a vehicle for money laundering.
“The necessary expertise is available to help anyone make sure their preventative measures are fit for purpose.’’
Read our article: MAKING SURE YOU DO ENOUGH TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING