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Australian Real Estate Becomes A Haven For Foreign Money Laundering

Australian Real Estate Becomes A Haven For Foreign Money Laundering: September 03, 2015


As if homebuyers don’t have enough on their plate, the news is that foreigners, especially Chinese, are using Australian real estate to launder their money. They buy properties at exhorbitant prices, often leaving them vacant, knowing that not only have they rinsed the dirty money clean, but they have given it any entirely different coiffure.

While nobody knows how much laundered money has been funnelled through Australian real estate, Credit Suisse estimates $60 billion of Chinese funds will reach the domestic property market in the next six years. Even if only a small fraction of that is ill-gotten gains, it would still be in the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

Why isn’t our government jumping up and down with outrage and an overwhelming inclination to protect its own citizens? It is not enough for Hockey to make a token gesture and whip up a media frenzy by forcing the sale of a $39 million. There has to be a systematic, forensic investigation and a stop to this rampant practice.

Our first homebuyers and Australian buyers in general, must become a priority for this government and subsequent governments. Time is of the essence and action must be taken with rapidity and tenacity.

The Wall Street Journal reported the following in July this year:

Declaring “there is no place for dirty money in Britain,” U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday he would take on those using shell companies to invest ill-gotten gains in London real estate.
The U.K. government came under criticism this week after an official at the National Crime Agency said foreign criminals were driving up property values in London when they stash laundered money in real estate. Mr. Cameron said the U.K. Land Registry will publish data on foreign companies that own real estate in England and Wales, affecting about 100,000 property titles, and the government will look into ways to make foreign companies more transparent.
“London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash,” said Mr. Cameron from Singapore.

It appears to be a practice that stretches over continents but it is only done because they are getting away with it. I urge you to read this article and to write to the Prime Minister demanding a better deal for Australians and send those money launders with their gaze firmly fixed on our property, packing!