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Govt sets up financial crime taskforce

Govt sets up financial crime taskforce

Reporter
— 1 minute read

The federal government has announced the establishment of a new taskforce to fight serious and organised financial crime.

In a statement issued by Treasurer Joe Hockey, the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce will target superannuation and investment fraud, identity crime and tax evasion.

“The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce will have an unquantifiable positive benefit on the financial wellbeing of members of the community who, without the taskforce, may be victims of financial crime,” the statement said.

"This type of crime poses a genuine threat to national security and to the integrity of Australia's economy, financial markets, regulatory frameworks and tax revenue collection."

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has voiced its support for the taskforce.

AIST chief executive, Tom Garcia, said it will boost consumer confidence in financial services.

"It's important that consumer protections are underpinned by a strong investigative body that will investigate and prosecute those committing superannuation frauds – ensuring the integrity of the financial services system," Mr Garcia said.

The government will provide $127.6 million over four years for investigations and prosecutions.

The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce includes the Australian Taxation Office, Australian Crime Commission, Australian Federal Police, Attorney-General's Department, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and Australian Customs and Border Protection Services.

The taskforce is a continuation of Project Wickenby, which concludes in 2015.

Project Wickenby raised $2.1 billion in liabilities and resulted in 44 criminal convictions, the treasury statement said.

 

Govt sets up financial crime taskforce
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