New AUSTRAC team to unearth online terrorism financing

Justice minister announces new ‘cyber team’

Australia’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) — the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, better known by its acronym AUSTRAC — has launched a new team that will focus on the use of online platforms and financial cyber crime for money laundering and terrorism financing.

The creation of the new team within was announced today by justice minister Michael Keenan.

“The new cyber team will use financial and cyber intelligence to investigate online payment platforms and financial cybercrime to crack down on money-laundering and criminal networks,” a statement issued by the minister said.

Keenan said that AUSTRAC would also work with iDcare, Australia and New Zealand’s national identity support service as well as the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) Joint Management Group (JMG) to identify patterns and methodologies employed in financial scams.

The minister said that the initiative formed part of the government’s national cyber security strategy and the recent review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

AUSTRAC is currently co-hosting the second Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) Summit in Bali, alongside its Indonesian counterpart PPATK.

One of the initiatives to emerge from the inaugural summit, held in November in Sydney, was move to create an international community of CIOs that could draw together IT leaders at FIUs and within the private sector. The CIO forum held alongside the first CTF Summit was spearheaded by AUSTRAC chief information officer Maria Milosavljevic.

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