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September 27, 2017

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Australia returns funds in money laundering cases

AUSTRALIA has returned around A$215,000 (US$170,000) to China in funds seized in money laundering cases as the two countries yesterday agreed to beef up efforts to crack down on financial crime.

Australia has been working with China’s Operation Fox Hunt to snare suspected corrupt officials who have fled overseas or hidden assets offshore. A handful of the 100 top suspects wanted by China are living in Australia.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the payment demonstrated Australia was a “hostile environment for criminals seeking to hide their illegally-obtained assets.” Colvin was in Beijing for talks with the Ministry of Public Security.

The two countries have set up a joint working group to combat financial crime and money-laundering and track down assets linked to the proceeds of crime in both countries.

Australian police said the group was the first of its kind with China and would extend the reach of Fox Hunt.

They also plan to formalize future cooperation on a range of crimes, including terrorism, that could impact security in both countries.


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