The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has signed an agreement to exchange financial intelligence with its counterpart in the Cayman Islands, the Financial Reporting Authority (FRA). Austrac is Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator and specialist financial intelligence unit, while the FRA serves as Cayman’s financial intelligence unit, reponsible for receiving, analysing, and disseminating financial information concerning the proceeds of crime, and the financing of terrorism. The FRA also responds to requests for information to assist overseas counterparts and other law enforcement agencies with investigations.

*”AUSTRAC now has exchange instruments with 49 international counterparts,”*says AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer Mr Neil Jensen. *”The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Cayman Islands is an important step in further developing a global network of strong links with international agencies.”* Austrac signed a similar agreement with Sweden, and a revised Statement of Cooperation with Japan at the same time – during Plenary Session and Working Group Meetings hosted by the Egmont Group in Bermuda earlier this month.

Mr Lindsey Cacho, Director of the Financial Reporting Authority of the Cayman Islands, said:* “I am very pleased to be a party to this Memorandum of Understanding with our Australian counterpart, and we look forward to a long and fruitful association between our two units.”* He added that these important agreements play a critical role in the Cayman Islands’ multi-agency anti money laundering and prevention of terrorist financing enforcement regime.

The exchange agreements recognise the commitment to international cooperation in the global effort to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Austrac says the use of financial intelligence by Australian and international law enforcement bodies is increasing and has contributed to a number of successful investigations.