SYDNEY – Australian authorities announced on Tuesday they would investigate if the subsidiary of online payment service PayPal breached the country’s money laundering and terror financing laws.
Anti-money laundering regulator Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) ordered an external audit to verify if PayPal Australia complied with the International Funds Transfer Instruction, under which entities are required to report the transfer of property or funds to and from the country.
“PayPal is an important partner in the fight against crime. However, when we suspect non-compliance AUSTRAC will take action to protect the Australian community,” Chief Executive Officer, Nicole Rose, said in a statement.
AUSTRAC, which argues that these regulations provide it with “vital intelligence” to combat serious crimes such as child sex exploitation, said the auditor would have a period of 120 days after the appointment to hand over the report.
Two years ago, AUSTRAC filed a lawsuit against Commonwealth Bank – among the top four largest banks in Australia – for having violated several laws against money laundering and terror financing in 53,500 transactions between November 2012 and September 2015.
According to AUSTRAC, the bank failed to report transactions above AU$10,000 ($7,630) within 10 days, as required by the country’s anti-money laundering laws.