The Federal government has said its efforts to crackdown on foreign property investors who illegally acquire homes in Australia are proving to be successful. This comes after a month of launching new penalties and a temporary moratorium.
To curb the speculations in the hot housing market, Treasurer Joe Hockey said the Foreign Investment Review Board is looking at 195 cases of purchases by foreign investors, reports The Daily Mail. These include 24 cases of those who voluntarily flagged their own possible breaches.
He said in the report that tip-offs for the investigations came from “members of the public, suspicious that properties had been purchased illegally using shelf companies and illegal leasing arrangements to hide foreign ownership had led to 40 of the cases under investigation”.
"Foreign investors who think they may have broken the rules should come to us before we come to them," he said in a statement.
The report said illegal buyers who will come forward to the government to reveal their transactions before November 30 will be forced to sell properties, but will not face criminal prosecution.
Earlier this year, Hockey ordered the Chinese owner of a A$39m ($30m) Sydney harbourside mansion to sell the property within 90 days, saying it was bought illegally via a string of shelf companies.