Australia to crack down on corporate corruption by tracking graft funds at home and abroad

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to spend A$15 million (S$15.7 million) to boost the capability of anti-graft agents to track down money at home and abroad.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to spend A$15 million (S$15.7 million) to boost the capability of anti-graft agents to track down money at home and abroad.PHOTO: EPA

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will crack down on corporate corruption, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Saturday (April 23), promising to spend A$15 million (S$15.7 million) on boosting the capability of anti-graft agents to track down money at home and abroad.

Graft has become a politically charged issue in Australia, with both the government and opposition promising to crack down on multinational tax avoidance and impose extra regulations on the banking sector as the country heads toward an early election - expected in July.

Mr Turnbull, in a joint statement with the justice minister and the attorney-general, said the extra money would go to three dedicated anti-bribery teams, comprising a total of 26 forensic accountants, litigators and investigators.

The announcement follows several corporate scandals.

The tax authorities are investigating more than 800 people for possible tax evasion in connection with a law firm based in the tax haven of Panama.