Money laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of illegal activity as legitimate funds. Anti-Money Laundering laws have been established to prevent this activity and to prosecute those who engage in it. In NSW, these laws have been strengthened with the passing of the Crimes Amendment (Money Laundering) Bill 2022, which came into effect on 18 October 2022.We sometimes refer to Anti-Money Laundering as AML.
The Bill aims to prevent and disrupt organised and serious crime by amending the Crimes Act 1900 and the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.
The changes to be made to the state legislation are in line with those made to federal money laundering via the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Economic Disruption) Bill 2020.
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Economic Disruption) Bill 2020 (the Bill) implements a range of measures aimed at disrupting criminal organisations (especially with respect to money laundering operations) introducing:
- New penalties
- Enhanced law enforcement powers
- Confiscation of assets
- Prosecution of individuals
NEW CHANGES TO THE CRIMES ACT 1900 (NSW)
Crimes Amendment (Money Laundering) Bill 2022
- Contains the new offence of dealing with the proceeds of general crime with the value of over $100,000 when reckless to its origins and “intending to conceal or disguise features” of the proceeds.
- This offence sees those convicted of it liable for up to 15 years imprisonment.
- A person who deals with property valued at more than $5 million, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the property was the proceeds of crime.
- The penalty for this is now up to 8 years imprisonment
New section 193CA:
- sets out circumstances providing ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that property is proceeds of crime. The list of circumstances is extensive and includes amongst the wide range of circumstances: transactions structured to avoid reporting under federal law, substantial amounts of money, the use of accounts with fake names, and being in possession of over $100,000 without lawful excuse.
New section 193CB:
- provides that it’s to be dealt with as if it is the proceeds of crime regardless of origin when prosecuting.
- Make it clear that in order to prove that property is the “proceeds of general crime,” it is not necessary to prove “an offence or type of offence” or that a “particular person committed an offence or type of offence.
If you become the subject of a law enforcement investigation regarding alleged violations of anti-money laundering laws, it is best to seek legal assistance. Our experienced lawyers have handled numerous cases in this area and can provide expert guidance throughout the process. For any inquiries or concerns, contact our lawyers today.
See our Anti-Money Laundering factsheet for more information.