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‘Cuckoo Smurfing’ Guidance

Friday 4 June 2021


Following the Royal Commission into the Crown Casino, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has released
guidance on typologies around ‘cuckoo smurfing’. 

 AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose said in an official statement earlier this week, “This method has been used by criminal syndicates involved in crimes that inflict serious harm on our community such as drug trafficking, slavery, fraud and corruption. We rely on financial businesses to report to AUSTRAC and partner with enforcement to stop these criminal syndicates and protect members of the Australian community”.


The above Image has been taken from Detect and Report: Cuckoo Smurfing Fiancial Crime Guide


The FIU highlighted that money transfers businesses, banks and financial institutions need to take particular care and monitor their business transactions for exposure to financial crime. 

“The Australian account holder will commonly be expecting genuine funds to be deposited into their account from a friend, relative or business partner overseas. Often these recipients are unaware that the funds transferred into their accounts have in fact come from criminals using funds generated from drug dealing and other serious criminal activities,” Austrac said in an official statement earlier this week.
According to the guide:


No single financial indicator will be a definitive way to identify if an account is being used for cuckoo smurfing. Rather, financial institutions should use a combination of indicators in this report and business knowledge to conduct further monitoring and identify if a suspicious matter report (SMR) needs to be submitted to AUSTRAC.

This guidance comes after AUSTRAC released guidance on Suspicious Mater Report (SMR).