Australia to help in a global battle
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.”