Austrac limited when regulating overseas terrorism financing via online platforms

Representatives from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) on Monday said far-right extremists were increasingly using online platforms, such as Telegram and cryptocurrency exchange platforms, to fund their operations.

But due to Austrac’s remit only being financing activity within Australia’s banking system, the agency’s CEO said its scope for catching financing of terrorism activities could often be limited.

“That’s why we rely so heavily on the banks if it’s going to the banking system, but of course, much of this doesn’t go through the banking system so that’s why we’re [trying to] enhance our capability,” Austrac CEO Nicole Rose said at Senate Estimates.

In terms of what Austrac can do when it comes to restricting prominent far-right extremists from fundraising through those digital channels, Rose said the agency can work with partner agencies to help identify these payments.

“We provide intelligence on targets that we may create ourselves or the police may actually ask us national security agencies asked us to provide intelligence,” Rose said.

Austrac deputy CEO John Moss added the agency was working with digital currency exchange providers to build indicators and financial crime guides that can be used to detect suspicious matter reports and send

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