Anti-money laundering—Australia—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-money laundering—Australia—Q&A guide
  • 1. Identify your jurisdiction’s money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. Describe the main elements of these laws.
  • 2. Describe any specific powers to identify proceeds of crime or to require an explanation as to the source of funds.
  • 3. Which government entities enforce your jurisdiction’s money laundering laws?
  • 4. Can both natural and legal persons be prosecuted for money laundering?
  • 5. What constitutes money laundering?
  • 6. Is there any limitation on the types of assets or transactions that can form the basis of a money laundering offence?
  • 7. Generally, what constitute predicate offences?
  • 8. Are there any codified or common law defences to charges of money laundering?
  • 9. What is the range of outcomes in criminal money laundering cases?
  • More...

Anti-money laundering—Australia—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to anti-money laundering in Australia published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2021).

Authors: Gilbert + Tobin—Peter Reeves; Georgina Willcock

1. Identify your jurisdiction’s money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. Describe the main elements of these laws.

In Australia, the legislative regime for detecting, prosecuting and deterring money laundering activities consists of:

  1. criminal offences for money laundering at the Commonwealth and state or territory levels;

  2. asset recovery legislation at the Commonwealth and state or territory levels; and

  3. prevention and detection measures, legislated at the Commonwealth level.

The money laundering offences are defined in Part 10.2 of the Federal Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code) and encompass a wide range of criminal activity. Similar offences exist in Australia's state and territory criminal legislation. The offences differ according to areas such as relevant predicate offences, the intent of the defendant and penalties.

The asset recovery provisions are contained in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) (the POC Act), which enables law enforcement to pursue the recovery of assets linked to offences after a conviction. Each Australian state and territory also has asset recovery legislation for funds generated by offences at a state or territory level.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (the AML/CTF Act) is the

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