Credit: Welcomia

Australia’s financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC has reportedly been issuing notices to clubs regarding their compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism (AML/CTP) laws. As first reported by the Australian Financial Review, one of the clubs is Mounties Group.

According to the AFR, sources with direct knowledge of the correspondence, not authorised to speak publicly, said Mounties received a notice from the watchdog related to an enforcement investigation designed to assess whether the club was meeting its obligations under AML/CTF laws.

It is unclear whether other clubs received similar correspondence, the AFR reported.

While a Mounties spokesperson said it unable to provide any further information, the club said that “Mounties wants to have good compliance and wants to do everything right”.

An AUSTRAC spokesperson also told Club Management it will “not comment on specific operational matters concerning Mounties”.  

“As Australia’s AML/CTF regulator, AUSTRAC engages with individual businesses across the broad range of regulated industry sectors in Australia including in the gambling, pubs and clubs sector,” the AUSTRAC spokesperson continued.

“AUSTRAC is focussed on preventing and detecting criminal abuse of the financial sector in all its forms. We actively monitor industries and services to understand the vulnerabilities and risks that enable criminal exploitation.”

In April, AUSTRAC reinforced that one of its key priorities this year is to stamp out criminals exploiting the clubs and pubs sector. 

“AUSTRAC’s Regulatory priorities for 2024 calls out the gambling sector as an enduring area of focus,” an AUSTRAC spokesperson told Club Management at the time

AUSTRAC announced that its regulatory priorities for 2024 will be to focus on the money laundering risks faced by businesses – particularly across the banking, gambling, and remittance sectors, which face higher risks – and help them to understand, mitigate and manage these risks.

At the time, a spokesperson for ClubsNSW said the local industry “fully supports” AUSTRAC’s mission to implement measures to protect clubs from money launderers.

“In recent times, clubs across the country have met with the regulator to understand its expectations with respect to anti-money laundering best practice,” a ClubsNSW spokesperson said.

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