12 stories this week:


China billionaire involved in iron ore bribery: Dealings with Australia revealed – 6 October 2021
The Pandora papers have revealed that Du Shuanghua, a Chinese billionaire who confessed to paying bribes for Australian iron ore, continued to trade with major Aussie companies for years even after the scandal became public in 2010.


Bank fraud syndicate facing 200 charges – 7 October 2021
Two former bank employees and two accountants have been charged with more than 200 offences, over a scheme that allegedly netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent loans. Police set up a strike force to investigate the syndicate and have now arrested eight people.


ACCC calls for banks to name-check transactions to stop ‘rapidly rising’ scams – 8 October 2021
It has been revealed that Australian banks do not block transactions where the name listed by the sender does not match the account details of the recipient. The ACCC has asked major to update their processes to stop customers from transferring money to fraudsters, after an industry body accused the sector of ‘victim blaming’ to avoid responsibility for scam losses.


Australia urges US to follow its lead in regulating social media giants – 9 October 2021
Facebook has been under scrutiny this week after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked tens of thousands of documents showing it withheld research into the harms of its products.


Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says the government is not joking over plans to regulate social media – 10 October 2021
Australia has intervened in the global push to regulate tech giants, writing to the US Senate to urge it to follow the nation’s lead to make social media companies deliver safer products.


The fallen Star: Sydney’s cleanskin casino caught in ‘dirty’ company – 10 October 2021
‘Star Entertainment’ has been enabling suspected money laundering, organised crime, large-scale fraud and foreign interference within its Australian casinos for years, even though its board was warned its anti-money-laundering controls were failing. According to multiple casino and law-enforcement agents, between 2014 and 2021, Star cultivated high-roller gamblers who are allegedly associated with criminal or foreign-influence operations


Innovation investment is key to consumer trust – 11 October 2021
The rapid digitisation of business including accelerated development of new practices and rapid on-boarding of new suppliers, has been celebrated as the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, but digital identity fraud and cyber attacks will remain.


University investigates claims of research misconduct in studies on ageing – 13 October 2021
The University of NSW has launched a review of allegations of research misconduct in several taxpayer-funded studies such as the research into ageing. The review comes after a well-known scientific sleuth went public with allegations some papers showed evidence of image or data error, or manipulation.


Demands for Premier to face IBAC grilling don’t stack up – 13 October 2021
The calls for Daniel Andrews to be hauled before Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, to face coercive questioning in a public hearing about the alleged misuse of taxpayer funds for political purposes are misguided as IBAC tends to hold a public hearing only if it has strong evidence of alleged wrongdoing.


Sydney inner west man charged over $20m payroll fraud – 14 October 2021
A Sydney man has become the 14th person to face charges over an elaborate $20 million payroll tax fraud and money laundering scheme. It is alleged that the man received and possessed a total of $456,150 that was proceeds of an illegal scheme to siphon off money that should have been remitted to the ATO, and that he was reckless as to the fact that the money was the proceeds of crime.


Bill Papas’s companies earned $500 million from fraud, liquidators allege – 14 October 2021
Alleged fraudster Bill Papas may have committed criminal offences according to liquidators, after allegedly siphoning off more than $500 million from Westpac and other major banks since 2013. That is the key finding of a damning liquidators’ report looking into the failure of his equipment leasing company Forum Finance and its related entities. He is also being investigated by the Financial Crimes Squad (a division of NSW Police)


Singapore patrol robots stoke fears of surveillance state – 16 October 2021
Singapore has trialled patrol robots that blast warnings at people engaging in “undesirable social behaviour”, adding to an arsenal of surveillance technology in the tightly controlled city-state that is fuelling privacy concerns.