Westpac accused of breaching 23 million AML/CFT laws
 Westpac bank branch, Sydney, Australia / Image: Shutterstock

Australian bank and financial services provider – Westpac is accused of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering rules. As per the reports, Australian government financial intelligence agency – AUTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) has launched a legal against the Australia’s second-largest bank, alleging Westpac systems were used by 12 individuals linked to illegal activities, such as child exploitation and live child sex shows, in the Philippines and other parts of south-east Asia.

According to AUSTRAC, 2944 transactions, totaling $480,000, were made for child exploitation payments. The payments made by Westpac without acceptable scrutiny took place from 2013 to late 2018, AUSTRAC told during the court filing.

It has been further reported that AUSTRAC is pursuing fines of up to 21 million Australian dollars ($14m) for every transaction the bank failed to monitor adequately or report on time.

Recently, NAB breached laws governing bribery, corruption and financial crime. The bank self-reported a number of issues related to breach to AUSTRAC. In 2018, Commonwealth Bank was fined a record $700 million for breaches of the same laws.

Source – Aljazeera