But have they done their AML homework properly on online sports betting?
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has made the startling claim that online sports betting – one of the most strictly regulated and operator-conscious sectors in the country – is a growing risk area for money laundering activities, and has implied that there may be links with that nebulous bugbear “organised crime” in other jurisdictions.
The ACIC further warned on the rise of cryptocurrencies and the need for proper regulations to prevent criminal activity in this area.
The opinion is among several other sensitive revelations in the ACIC’s biennial report Organised Crime in Australia 2017, which was released in Perth Thursday by federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and acting ACIC chief executive Nicole Rose.
The report claims that organised crime activity is costing Australia $36 billion a year, with professional lawyers, accountants and computer experts increasingly being used to commit crime and hide assets.
While identity theft was one of the most common crimes, the use of “professional facilitators” is emerging as a serious issue, where the ACIC claims that a slew of professions are exploited by the crooks, including financial and tax advisers, registered migration agents, stockbrokers, real estate agents and customs brokers.
Organised crime apparently also deploys computer experts to run sophisticated scams, steal identities and hide money.
“The use of professional facilitators often results in financial gains for criminals through tax evasion, money laundering, superannuation fraud, and phoenixing activities,” the report claims, noting that “corruption” in the public sector is an issue it is monitoring after Australia dropped to 13th in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.
Apparently several well-publicised instances of corruption in sport as well as “publicity generated by several recent anti-corruption agency and royal commission investigations into criminality and workplace misconduct” contributed to this fall from grace.
More advanced technology and global links means that 70 percent of Australia’s serious and organised crime threats are based offshore or have offshore connections. According to the report, for the last two years transnational organised criminal groups have been more skilful in crimes related to technology and digital infrastructure, with a notable number of incidents of technology-enabled fraud in areas such as online banking, trade, superannuation and identity crime.
Technology and digital infrastructure crimes are considered one of the significant changes in the criminal landscape, while money laundering is expected to continue to facilitate criminal activity on both domestic and international levels.
Whilst drugs are likely to remain the primary source of illicit wealth for many organised crime groups, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has identified six key enablers for serious and organised crime: money laundering, technology, professional facilitators, public sector corruption, violence and intimidation.
The ACIC has developed strategies to combat these that include:
* Disrupt and deter Australia’s highest risk criminal groups and individuals through the collection of evidence and intelligence on criminal activity.
* Gather intelligence on a range of drug markets in Australia
* Disrupt, dismantle or neutralise Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs nationally.
* Identify, investigate and disrupt serious organised crime groups’ involvement in visa and migration fraud.
* Target criminal wealth to identify and disrupt criminal money flows by collecting evidence and intelligence.
* Prioritise official understanding of cybercrime threats to Australia and initiate response strategies.