New Book Offers Insight into how Aussie Banks Launder Proceeds of CIA Global Child Sex Trafficking Operation

On sale 1 June 2022


How the Aussie economy got hooked on the world’s dirtiest cash

In today’s ruthless world of organised crime, the best criminals aren’t foolish enough to steal money out of banks. They wear tailored suits, carry briefcases, and discreetly slip money into banks. 

Bigwigs, oligarchs and crime syndicates running drugs, trafficking guns and people, arming terrorists and subverting government controls are desperate to put a legitimate face on their wealth. Washing dirty money, moving it around the globe, making it look legitimate is where the action is for both criminals and the authorities chasing them.

Australia is awash with dirty money. It flows through our economy, keeps banks running, powers big business, puts coffee on restaurant tables, seeps into clubs, pubs, sport, the art world and anywhere that value is moved. It infiltrates real estate, costs billions in policing, and takes a terrible toll on Australian lives. What law enforcement agencies might lack in legislation and political will, they make up for with sheer resourcefulness. When they can’t get at the masterminds and bigwigs, they have honed tactics that intercept the flow of illicit cash and aim to drive a wedge between crooks and their ill-gotten wealth.

In The Lucky Laundry, financial crime expert Nathan Lynch delves deep inside this hidden world to explain how dark money has infected the lives of ordinary people – and tainted Australian democracy. He opens the curtain on the hidden world of financial intelligence, where crooks and spooks play a cat-and-mouse game inside the world’s black money markets.


Here is what I wrote about this topic in the 2020 Lockdown Edition of my book EYES WIDE OPEN:


Australia is in the process of two federal investigations, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, and the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Only one of these investigations has shed any light on the global child trafficking network. On 5 April 2018, Nicole Rose, the newly appointed head of AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) addressed the Australian media:[1]

I thought coming from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that I had a pretty good handle on serious and organised crime side. I didn’t appreciate the depth and breadth of involvement with private entities and banks. I didn’t appreciate how many industries it does actually touch. There’s a misperception that money laundering is a victimless white-collar crime that’s probably just looking at tax avoidance – and it’s not. It is criminal entities using financial institutions here and nationally to move criminal funds around our country and our financial system overseas. And it has a massive impact on everyday life. Whether that’s child exploitation, serious and organised crime, drug importation – it all involves money laundering.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) was subsequently fined $700 million for almost 54,000 breaches of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws, including the laundering of proceeds from child sex trafficking, and the channelling of these funds into overseas terrorist organisations. This massive criminal operation involved 27 different groups or cells, each of which accessed a CBA account. Each of the 27 accounts was used for money laundering by multiple, possibly hundreds, of criminals, with each individual depositing amounts of over $10,000 into the automatic tellers per sitting. Police obtained footage of people sitting at tellers at night with large bags of cash, patiently feeding notes into the IDMs (Intelligent Deposit Machines).

About 80 percent of CBA-laundered money was obtained via drug trafficking, while the remaining 20 percent came from child sex trafficking (namely by Fijian nationals operating in far north Queensland). The CBA sting operation incorporated the biggest illicit drug bust in Australian history. This massive Perth, WA drug bust went unreported in the Australian media. And that is not all the government covered up. AUSTRAC cut short their investigation and action against the CBA because if they continued, the laundering operation was so massive the CBA would have run out of money paying the appropriate fines.

The most telling cover-up regarding the CBA case is that, while the CBA as an organisation was fined, law enforcement authorities never prosecuted the individual CBA employees identified as responsible for masterminding the laundering operation. Those offenders simply left the CBA to assume senior executive positions within other organisations. Police prosecutors claimed they had insufficient evidence to prosecute the executives, when they in fact possessed ample evidence. I suggest the true reason the DPP did not pursue the individuals responsible for these crimes is because the perpetrators were CIA agents, and the CBA money laundering operation was part of the CIA-coordinated global child and drug trafficking operation.

As I write, Westpac and the NAB (National Australia Bank) are under AUSTRAC investigation for the very same crimes. 

[1] Peter Ryan (2018). New AUSTRAC boss Nicole Rose shocked by ‘depth and breadth’ of money laundering, ABC News [Online], 5 April.


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