Supreme Court has granted an application to freeze bank accounts belonging to
two Malaysian citizens following alleged links to international money
The Australian Federal
Police (AFP) successfully applied to have restraining orders granted,
preventing movement out of the three accounts under legislation which prevented
money laundering and terrorism.
stipulates such an order can be granted if funds were reasonably suspected of
being "the proceeds of indictable offences".
The three accounts,
which had a combined value of more than $2 million, were established when the
Malaysian nationals made brief trips to Perth in August and September, the
court was told.
The court was told one
of those accounts was linked to an individual who has admitted involvement in
international money laundering.
Each account was
established with a deposit of $5,000 but have since received regular transfers
from third parties of a few thousand dollars, to the point where each is now
worth more than $700,000.
The balance of the main
account grew by $969,000 in just 60 days through 103 deposits.
Most of the
transactions that bolstered those accounts were below the $10,000 threshold
which forces financial institutions to notify federal authorities.
One of the accounts
received over $100,000 in one day through 11 deposits of between $9,000 and
Neither of the two
individuals withdrew money from the accounts, which were opened at the Canning
Vale branches of ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank.
Presiding Judge Jeremy
Allanson found the circumstances "do not suggest that the funds are owned
by the only two individuals who are currently identified".
holder] lives in Australia; both appear to have made only fleeting visits to
this country," he said.
"I am satisfied
[there are] reasonable grounds of suspicion that someone, not identified,
caused the transactions in those accounts to be conducted in that manner for
the sole or dominant purpose of ensuring that they would not give rise to a
transaction that would have been required to be reported]."
Most of the
transactions were through cash deposits from New South Wales.
Neither of the holders
of the accounts was present for the court proceedings.