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Commonwealth continues to tackle financial crime.



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MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CUSTOMS SENATOR THE HON. CHRIS ELLISON

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURER SENATOR THE HON. IAN CAMPBELL

JOINT NEWS RELEASE

29 May 2003 E58/03

Commonwealth continues to tackle financial crime

The Commonwealth Government has re-affirmed its commitment to work with all State and Territory law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the international community in the battle against financial crime, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

Senator Campbell, addressing the 2003 Financial Crimes Summit in Sydney, said financial crimes were a direct and growing threat to all Australians and to the entire Australian economy.

“Governments must take strong and decisive action to reduce crime, and we must prosecute criminals without fear or favour,” Senator Campbell said.

“Although financial crimes are becoming increasingly common and increasingly costly, it is important to remember that these crimes have always existed. What has changed is the scope and opportunities that now exist to carry out fraud and other financial crimes.”

Senator Campbell outlined the significant steps by the Government to tackle financial crimes. These initiatives include:

• partnerships with peak financial bodies to combat card skimming; • the establishment of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre to provide a coordinated approach to combating serious, complex and multi-jurisdiction high tech crime; • the authorisation of an intelligence operation for the Australian Crime Commission; • the AusCERT National Information Technology Security Alert and Advice Scheme;

and

• the implementation of United Nations resolutions to suppress terrorist finances.

Senator Ellison said the Financial Crimes Summit 2003 provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen the partnerships that were so important to effectively fight financial crimes.

“These crimes threaten our national prosperity and because they are a global phenomena they also threaten the rule of international law,” Senator Ellison said.

“The Government will continue to work with the private sector and with other countries to prevent, detect and prosecute those who seek to commit financial crimes.”

Media Note: A copy of Senator Campbell’s speech is available at: www.law.gov.au/www/justiceministerHome.nsf

Media Contact: Mairi Barton (Sen. Ellison’s office) 02/6277 7260 or 0439 300 335 Wayne Grant (Sen. Campbell’s office) 08/9325 4227 or 0407 845 280