Money

Commonwealth Bank sued by Indonesian family cuckoo smurfing scam

Australian international student sues the Commonwealth Bank claiming its policies led to MILLIONS of her family’s hard-earned dollars meant to buy her a house being frozen in a money laundering scam

  • Delania Marundrury and family sued Commonwealth Bank after millions lost
  • Family was sending money to Delania who was studying in Australia
  • Their money was unknowingly swapped with dirty money by a money changer
  • Family said CBA had obligation to report suspicious activity but failed to do so 










An international student and her Indonesian family are suing the Commonwealth Bank after millions of dollars were lost in a money laundering scam. 

Delania Marundrury is studying make-up design and living with her mother Widyia in Australia.

The pair have been receiving money from family back home to support Delania’s education, buy land, and build a house. 

The family suddenly had millions of dollars seized by the Australian Federal Police after learning their account was being used by criminals to launder dirty money.

The Marundrury’s said they had no idea they were the target of the simple but effective scam known as ‘cuckoo smurfing’. 

Delania Marundrury is studying make-up design and has been receiving money from family back home to support her education, buy land and build a house

Delania Marundrury is studying make-up design and has been receiving money from family back home to support her education, buy land and build a house

The family claim they had no idea their bank account was being used by criminals to launder money in a scam known as cuckoo smurfing

The family claim they had no idea their bank account was being used by criminals to launder money in a scam known as cuckoo smurfing

The family had been sending money to a money changer, whose fees were lower, believing their funds were being deposited into their Commonwealth Bank account.

Instead, the money changer was keeping their money and depositing dirty money made by criminals into their account, then sending their clean cash to overseas criminals.

Once the AFP realised what was going on, everything in the account was seized as suspected proceeds of crime. 

The family claim they would not have continued to make any deposits had they been aware of what was happening.

Ms Marundrury's family claimed police viewed them as 'soft targets' and took their money without them being charged with a crime or doing anything wrong

 Ms Marundrury’s family claimed police viewed them as ‘soft targets’ and took their money without them being charged with a crime or doing anything wrong

They accused the Commonwealth Bank of breaching its anti-money laundering obligations by not reporting the suspicious activity.

Banks and businesses are obliged to report potential cuckoo smurfing scams to the financial watchdog AUSTRAC. 

The Marundrury claim CBA had an obligation to protect its customers and prevent money laundering, and failed to do so.

Their lawyers claim the family was victimised three times in Australia – first by the scammers, then the Australian Federal Police and Commonwealth Bank.

Ms Marundrury’s family claimed police viewed them as ‘soft targets’ and took their money without them being charged with a crime or doing anything wrong.

The family claim they would not have continued to make any deposits had they been aware of what was happening (pictured, Delania's father Fona, who has been sending the money)

The family claim they would not have continued to make any deposits had they been aware of what was happening (pictured, Delania’s father Fona, who has been sending the money)

The Commonwealth Bank filed an application to have the matter dismissed before it was rejected by Federal Court Judge Mark Moshinsky.

The bank argued that AUSTRAC law prevented it from disclosing anti-money laundering activity to anyone else besides authorised law enforcement.

Judge Moshinsky said he would give both parties four months to contact AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose and ask her to use her discretion to allow CBA to discuss it for the case to proceed.

Daily Mail Australia contacted Commonwealth Bank for comment. 

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