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Perth Mint told to step up efforts to stop money laundering

An ex-bikie bought gold worth $27,000 using a debit card and a driver's licence for identification.

An ex-bikie bought gold worth $27,000 using a debit card and a driver's licence for identification. Photo: AAP

The Perth Mint will be forced to prove it will be able to meet money-laundering laws, following an audit by the financial regulator.

The WA government-owned corporation has avoided financial penalties for failing to comply with money-laundering and counter terrorism financing laws, but it will be given until April 2025 to clean up its act as part of an enforceable undertaking.

An audit by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre came after concerns a former bikie bought gold worth $27,000 using a debit card, with only a driver’s licence for identification.

The mint will be required to prove to AUSTRAC it was making consistent progress as part of remediation efforts.

The mint could face action in the Federal Court or fines if it does not comply with the undertaking.

The regulator’s acting chief executive Peter Soros said the action would ensure the mint was able to comply with money-laundering laws.

“All businesses enrolled with AUSTRAC must have robust systems in place to ensure they meet their anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing obligations,” he said.

“Businesses like (the mint) are the front line of defence in protecting Australia’s financial system from exploitation by criminals.”

Mint chief executive Paul Graham said the organisation was committed to meeting its obligations.

“People are willing to learn, get better, listen to the feedback, work with AUSTRAC and get it right,” he said in Perth on Thursday.

“(The failures were) a case of we didn’t know what we didn’t know at the time and these go a long way back.

“What I am more focused on is not what we did we get wrong, what are we now doing to fix it.”

The WA government had earmarked $34 million to overhaul compliance within the mint and also ordered a strategic review.

A Senate inquiry was also ordered to examine issues with the Perth Mint.

-AAP

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