Australia’s revenue chiefs are bidding to ban large cash payments to hobble drug dealers and other criminal syndicates, but critics see a more sinister agenda that will allow banks and bureaucrats to manipulate ordinary citizens’ spending habits.
A bill outlawing cash transactions of A$10,000 (US$6,900) or more has been passed by the lower house of parliament and is now being considered by the Senate. Anyone caught breaking the law could be jailed for two years if the legislation becomes law.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar says the legislation, expected to be enacted in February, is aimed at criminal gangs that make cash purchases of cars, houses and jewelry to launder their profits from illegal activities.
“As cash is largely untraceable, this makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to trace these activities,” he said, according to media reports.
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