With the financial crime squad of the Australian government, AUSTRAC, conducting an official inquiry into whether Crown Resorts breached anti-money laundering regulations, Crown’s Own Chairman, Helen Coonan, has conceded the “ineptitude” of the company to AML laws.
The division of AUSTRAC’s Regulatory Operations said that the non-compliance was ‘ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintain and complying with an anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing program.’
It noted that concerns emerged ‘‘in the course of a compliance assessment that commenced in September 2019 and focused on Crown Melbourne’s management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed persons.’
Austrac contacted Crown in June 2017 alleging that Alvin Chau, SunCity’s junket partner’s boss, was a ‘politically exposed person’ with a serious criminal history.
Austrac told the Crown: “It would be appreciated if you could provide us with documentation evidencing Crown’s consideration of the appropriateness of continuing to provide designated services to Mr Chau.”
When questioned on why Crown did not shut down a VIP room run by SunCity, a VIP junket partner with suspected criminal ties, at the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, Ms. Coonan said: “It may have been ineptitude or a lack of attention, I don’t think it was deliberately turning a blind eye, I do think that’s a different adjectival conclusion.”