A new ministerial advisory group that will help implement legislation …

A new ministerial advisory group that will help implement legislation to detect and deter money laundering and terrorism funding meets for the first time today in Canberra, News.com reports.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Council will provide high-level advice on implementing existing legislation to protect financial institutions and upcoming legislation regarding industries.

“The laws, which were passed in December, are essential to protect our financial institutions from being used by criminals to clean the dirty profits of their offences,” Minister for Justice and Customs Senator David Johnston.

“They also bring Australia into line with international standards so we can retain our place in the global financial market.”

The changes mean financial and gambling businesses will have to take increased measures to identify and verify their customers.

“We developed these laws through extensive consultation with industry and we will continue that through the new council,” Senator Johnston said.

The second tranche of anti-money laundering reforms will tighten controls in industries including real estate, precious stones and metals dealing, and accounting and legal services.

Senator Johnston said consultation over that legislation will take place through the new advisory council.

“Representatives of these industries have been invited to participate in the council, along with those of industries affected by first-tranche reforms,” he said.

Senator Johnston said it should be remembered that if money was being laundered, a crime had already been committed.

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