Anti-money laundering company First AML takes action against money laundering in Australia with million-dollar washing machine stunt in Martin Place.
Sydney, Australia, 14 April 2023: Leading anti-money laundering technology company First AML hosted a PR stunt this morning at Martin Place, to demonstrate the devastating extent of money laundering in Australia.
The stunt featured three washing machines, filled with $1 million dollars worth of fake Australian money - highlighting the fact that $1 million dollars is laundered every hour through Australian criminal activity.
Money laundering is a major problem in Australia and worldwide, with the Australian Crime Commission estimating that it costs the country between $10 billion and $15 billion every year. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) also estimates more than $1.5 trillion of illegal funds are laundered worldwide each year, $200 billion of this in our region.
Australia currently sits 98th in world rankings when it comes to money laundering risk, behind countries like New Zealand, Greece, Spain and Norway (Basal AML Index 2021). It’s a reality that Australia is now viewed internationally as one of the money laundering capitals of the world.
And although the Albanese government is expected to move ahead with the long-awaited second tranche of the country’s anti-money laundering regime this year (according to Thomson Reuters), due to the prevalence of money laundering in Australia, First AML is pushing for the Tranche 2 laws to be implemented as soon as possible.
Milan Cooper, CEO of First AML, commented on the PR stunt, saying: "Our goal with this event is to raise awareness of the impact that money laundering has on Australia's economy and society. We want to show people - including businesses, politicians, and everyday Australians alike, that this is not a victimless crime - it harms everyone in the country.
“Last year, we saw two tonnes of methamphetamine with a street value of 1.6 billion dollars concealed in marble seized by Australian police at a Sydney port. Four days later, AUSTRAC launched an investigation into the country’s biggest gold and silver refiner, Perth Mint, on suspicion it breached AML/CTF financing laws. And early in February, the Australian Federal Police dismantled an alleged Chinese-Australian money laundering organisation that moved an estimated $10 billion offshore while amassing a blue-chip Sydney property and land portfolio.
“Consider how many Australians - how many people - have been hurt through the actions of criminals who are targeting the Australian system to launder illicit funds. Tighter laws are necessary to protect the people of this country.
“By highlighting the extent of money laundering, we hope to encourage businesses and individuals to take action to prevent it."
First AML recently penned an Open Letter to Parliament, urging the Federal Government to commit to tightening Australia’s anti money laundering (AML) legislation, or risk the nation being placed on a global list of countries not fit for international trading.