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Money laundering and terrorism financing survey results

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An Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre survey has found most respondents believe they could identify suspicious activity. The government organisation AUSTRAC canvassed 33 companies engaged in overseas trade in the securities or derivatives sector for their responses to 14 ‘red flags’ or suspicious behaviours in business partners who might be involved in money laundering or terrorism financing. Sixty percent of respondants said their organisation would identify 13 to 14 of the listed categories as suspicious, especially where there was doubt about a customer’s identity or a country subject to sanctions or a tax haven was involved. Most said they would be reliant on staff interaction with the customer to provide this information and 61 percent reported encountering at least one potentially suspicious matter in the first six months of 2010. The ‘red flags’ are, in order of suspicion: Doubts about customer’s identity Unusual questions about the companies anti money laundering and counter terrrorism funding policies Customer from a country of interest Customer matches a name on Australia’s Consolidated List of subjects of terrorist assset freezing controls Transactions involving a country of interest Customer can’t identify source of funds Customer requests multiple trading accounts Unexplained third party involvement Unusual use of trading accounts One-off patterns of trading Lack of knowledge of securities and derivatives related to their order An unusually complex corporate or trust structure Frequent trading activity with minimal movement of funds

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