Casino helped bust tax evasion

A THREE-year, $2.5 million cigarette tax evasion case busted by Australian authorities with help from a casino highlighted how industry could help authorities crush finance crime, a report released on Wednesday revealed.

The report, by the body in charge of Australia's financial intelligence, AUSTRAC, detailed numerous different tax evasion, fraud and money-laundering schemes and how they were broken up.

In each case, bodies including banks, casinos, other lending institutions and everyday businesses helped uncover what were often major, long-running organised crimes.

In one case, casino reports on suspicious activity helped government authorities track down two directors of a company that was importing and selling cigarettes without paying $2.5 million in tax.

The report also advised industry to remain vigilant and report suspicious financial activity.

"In many cases, suspicious matter reports have been the main trigger for an investigation," the report reads.

"Transaction reporting provides key intelligence to support law enforcement agency investigations, including identifying new relationships, funds flows and patterns of financial activity."

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the report confirmed that when government and industry worked together "we can catch the criminals responsible".


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