New ACIC Report reveals financial crime is on the rise

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has released the Serious Financial Crime in Australia 2017 report, which highlights the sophistication and complexity of serious financial crime facing Australia.

The Serious Financial Crime in Australia 2017 report provides a national picture of serious financial crime currently impacting the Australian community. The report draws on the work of Serious Financial Crime Taskforce agencies, as well as intelligence and operational data held by a broad range of law enforcement, regulatory and government agencies.

The report is the first of its kind and focuses on the ‘enablers’ and ‘markets’ of financial crime in Australia. It informs government partners, the wider intelligence community and members of the general public of the threats posed by financial crime in Australia, and where possible, how to mitigate the risks.

The 2017 report has identified the nine key enablers of financial crime in Australia as:

  • money laundering
  • technology
  • identity crime
  • offshore service providers
  • illegal phoenix activity
  • abusive use of trusts
  • high value commodities
  • alternative banking services.

ACIC CEO Michael Phelan APM said Serious Financial Crime in Australia 2017 presents the picture of serious financial crime currently impacting on the Australian community.

“Financial crime is causing major harm, beyond that being committed by serious and organised crime, and affects Australians of all walks of life.

“Financial crimes in Australia are committed by sophisticated individuals and groups exploiting systemic vulnerabilities in areas such as taxation and revenue systems and government health and welfare programs.

“Financial crime is also being committed by those using offshore structures to evade paying tax in Australia, presenting a significant and growing threat to our national economy.

“The role of technology in enabling financial crime has markedly increased—from opportunistic tax refund fraud, to the large-scale online theft of personal identifying information which enables the theft of funds from investment and superannuation accounts.

“Money laundering remains a fundamental enabler of financial crime and is a significant and potentially lucrative criminal enterprise in itself.

“Professional facilitators, including legal and accounting professionals, liquidators, offshore service providers and real estate agents, remain critical enablers of financial crime, particularly through association with serious and organised crime groups.

“Serious Financial Crime in Australia 2017 draws on the work of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce agencies, as well as intelligence and operational data held by a broad range of law enforcement, regulatory and government agencies.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have contributed to this report. Without your valued contributions it would not be possible to understand the complex and evolving financial crime market in Australia.

“The complexity of emerging financial crime issues will require ongoing multi-agency cooperation to better understand the nature of the crime and to develop mitigation strategies.

“The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission is committed to making Australia safer and more secure by informing our law enforcement partners, key international partners, the wider intelligence community and general public of the threats posed by serious financial crime in Australia,” Mr Phelan said.

 

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