Australia and China to cooperate in dealing with financial crimes

Australia and China to cooperate in dealing with financial crimesAustralia and China agreed to share intelligence about potential financial crime as part of a crackdown on cross-border money laundering and terrorism financing, Reuter reported on Tuesday.

The agreement was made during Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan visit to Beijing on Tuesday.

Keenan told reporters during his visit that he had also raised concerns with Chinese officials over four Australian citizens detained for "gambling crimes" in connection with Crown Resorts but said he did not discuss specifics of the charges.

The intelligence sharing agreement between Australian financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC and its Chinese counterpart CAMLMAC would allow both countries to target and disrupt organized criminal networks.

"The more granularity we can get on the intelligence and the more information that we can share together, the more likely we're able to find the needle in the haystack essentially, which is the bad financial transaction," Keenan said.

China has been trying to get increased international cooperation to hunt down suspected corrupt officials who have fled overseas since President Xi Jinping began a campaign against deeply-rooted graft more than three years ago.

The intelligence sharing agreement will boost China's pursuit of corrupt officials and business executives and their assets, a chase dubbed "Operation Foxhunt."

"We are determined that Australia is not a haven for corrupt money," Keenan said, adding that China was very satisfied with the level of cooperation Australia has provided.
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