Aus­tralia to help in a global bat­tle

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - CHARLES MI­RANDA

AUS­TRALIA has been called on to help cre­ate an in­ter­na­tional anti-cor­rup­tion body for au­thor­i­ties to track down tax evaders, money laun­der­ers, sport­ing match fix­ers and those fun­nelling funds for ter­ror­ism.

The Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian has learned other na­tions in­clud­ing the UK specif­i­cally asked for Aus­tralian law en­force­ment to help cre­ate the body, pri­vately cit­ing the coun­try as be­ing the least cor­rupt in the world and ca­pa­ble of form­ing the foun­da­tions of the new global anti-cor­rup­tion group.

The body, to be an­nounced in Lon­don this week at an an­ti­cor­rup­tion sum­mit chaired by Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, will sign up at least 40 coun­tries, but also ma­jor sport­ing bod­ies in­clud­ing FIFA, in­ter­na­tional ath­letic and Olympic groups, and cy­cling in­sti­tu­tions.

The move comes in the wake of scan­dals in sport such as drug dop­ing and match fix­ing, and rev­e­la­tions like the Panama Papers, the 11.5 mil­lion doc­u­ments leaked last month that re­vealed tax avoid­ance by hun­dreds of com­pa­nies and world lead­ers.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment was ap­proached by Num­ber 10 to not just “em­bed” a se­nior AFP of­fi­cer, cur­rently sec­onded to the UK’s Na­tional Crime Agency, in the run­ning of the body, but also to help set the new cen­tre up. Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Keenan is to be in Lon­don for the an­nounce­ment, which is seen as an hon­our for Aus­tralia.

“The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment takes the fight against cor­rup­tion se­ri­ously,” he said yes­ter­day. “We have a ro­bust ap­proach to deal­ing with cor­rup­tion, un­der which ded­i­cated agen­cies have spe­cialised roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for de­tect­ing, de­ter­ring and re­spond­ing to such crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. Our agen­cies are pur­su­ing cor­rup­tion here and be­yond our borders.”

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