Australia’s Crown Melbourne Caught Up In Money Laundering Investigation

Once again, regulators are to reprimand Australia’s Crown Melbourne Casino after a video has surfaced, allegedly provided by three anonymous gaming regulators, showing a person handing over a huge cash bag to a cashier in a gambling venue VIP room run by Suncity. The leaked video was intended to call out potential casino money laundering and could spell Crown disaster if proven legitimate.

In the video, a cashier’s cage is filled with hundreds of “bricks” of wrapped AU$50 and $100 (about $33 and $67). The video is said to have been taken from the casino’s own security cameras and sent to Andrew Wilkie, a politician known for his resistance to gambling by gambling regulators in Victoria.

The group who turned over the video have not been named, but a voice-over was included to shed some light on why they were taking action. They explained that they were fed up with the lack of action taken by regulators against the VIP room of Suncity, and one whose voice was masked on the voice-over, said: “Anybody can walk in with any amount of money and launder it. Nobody really cares. They get to do what they want. They can bring anybody into the casino, they can bring in as much money as they like, nothing is ever said. It’s so much money, where would it come from? And in an Aldi bag. If it was legit, why wasn’t it in the bank?”

Crown and Suncity have been criticised a lot of late. After a local media revealed that discovered alleged criminal links that linked the two, everything began to unravel. Such reports have accused Suncity’s CEO, Alvin Chau, of being involved in cultivating illegal partnerships with junkets with Japanese crime organizations and Crown members.

Crown was forced to go on the defensive after the latest video had surfaced. Casino brass is focusing on damage control measures and a company spokesperson said in a statement, “Crown has a comprehensive anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) program, which has been and continues to be subject to ongoing regulatory supervision by Austrac.” Austrac is the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, which manages the financing.

Wilkie will definitely be happy to latch on the opportunity to unravel the mystery behind the money-filled grocery bag, and the result may be extremely harmful to Crown and Suncity. There has already been discussion about the company being put into suspension and, if the video is proven to be real, both parties may face catastrophe.