TRAVELLERS’ CHEQUES – AML/CFT RISK ASSESSMENT

AUSTRAC in Australia issued in June a risk assessment for travellers’ cheques.  Those with fairly long memories can remember these (I just about realised they were still in use), though most people nowadays rely on the use of credit and debit cards when travelling.  Understandably perhaps, AUSTRAC assesses the overall money laundering/terrorism financing (ML/TF) risk posed by traveller’s cheques to be low and say that there were only 27 suspicious matter reports (SMR) were submitted to AUSTRAC in relation to traveller’s cheques over a 2-year period.  These SMR all related to the process of cashing traveller’s cheques – the reasons for suspicion given was suspected low-level money laundering and traveller’s cheque fraud.  There were no SMR in the dataset relating to terrorism financing.  It says that the risk posed by the use of traveller’s cheques is likely to continue to decline, due to the decrease in the availability and use of traveller’s cheques in Australia and globally – saying that the sales of traveller’s cheques in Australia have been declining rapidly over recent years, with 2016 sales figures representing a 90% decline on sales from 2012.  The assessment also notes a number of uses travellers’ cheques are put to which, though not really traveller-related, were nonetheless legitimate.  On the other hand, it does detail a scam involving traveller’s cheques notified in one SMR and involving persons attempting to cash counterfeit travellers’ cheques.

http://www.austrac.gov.au/sites/default/files/travellers-cheques-risk-assessment.pdf

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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