The Australian Federal Police have launched a new multi-agency taskforce, named Avarus, aimed at eliminating money laundering conducted principally through the nation’s financial systems and property market.
According to reports, the new agency, launched late last week, are now targeting “sophisticated, international groups with one purpose – to provide a shadow economy enabling crime,” notes a top police assistant commissioner, as reported by Business News Australia.
The group has been set up after the numerous successes of the AFP partner operations, one of which resulted in the arrest of nine members of a multi-million-dollar operation that saw police seize AU$200 million in assets and AU$30 million in cryptocurrency.
The group was operating out of Sydney, and moved money through multiple jurisdictions using avenues such as casino junkets.
The new group combines resources of the AFP, the financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Australian Border Force.
The establishment of the group dovetails investigations into Crown Resorts, The Star and SkyCity over numerous alleged breaches of AML regulations and amongst a wider crackdown aimed at enforcing legislation for gaming operators in general.