Australia’s real estate industry is the go-to sector for money laundering and more professionals should be compelled to report dodgy transactions, an anti-corruption group says.
Transparency International Australia says a flow of dirty money into the country could be pushing house prices up even higher, but the real estate industry disputes the claim.
The federal government is consulting on a push to include accountants, lawyers and real estate agents in legislation that forces certain professions to report suspicious transactions to authorities.
For more Real Estate related news and videos check out Real Estate >>
The anti-corruption group backs the push as existing laws are focused on other areas, including casinos and the financial sector.
Transparency International Australia chief executive Clancy Moore said Australia’s existing anti-money laundering rules were among the weakest in the world.
From 3.57pm Friday, millions of Australians were ‘working without pay’
Real estate agents are wearing bodycam in rental homes. Is this OK?
“Australia’s real estate sector is now the go-to-destination for criminals to park their illicit money,” Moore said.
“Several high-profile cases, media reports and AFP busts have demonstrated how kleptocrats, crooks and corrupt officials from countries including China, Cambodia and PNG use Australia’s property market to launder their dirty money and hide their crimes.”
The comments come ahead of a National Integrity Summit in Melbourne this week that will explore integrity, corruption and governance issues.
Australia’s real estate industry is being used for money laundering, an anti-corruption group says. Credit: AAP
Real Estate Institute of Australia president Hayden Groves hit back, saying the main factor behind home and rental prices was a severe shortage of housing supply.
“The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Government currently can’t demonstrate any evidenced-based link between money laundering and Australian property values, or the scale on which money launderers are operating, despite many requests from our industry to understand this better,” Groves said.
He said the industry group was committed to playing its role in the fight against capturing money launderers and was working with the government on the appropriate reporting of suspicious individuals.
Sacked real estate agent defends comments mocking struggling tenants
Sydney company collapses leaving dozens of tradies without work
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings.