With the Australian government’s financial fraud squad, AUSTRAC, launching an official investigation into if the Crown Resorts broke anti-money laundering rules, Crown’s Own Chairman, Helen Coonan, has conceded the company’s ‘ineptitude’ on AML laws.
AUSTRAC’s Regulatory Operations branch said the non-compliance reffered to ‘ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintain and complying with an anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing program.’
It noted that problems arose ‘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.’
In June 2017 Austrac in June 2017 contacted Crown claiming that Alvin Chau, the boss of its junket partner SunCity, was a ‘politically-exposed person’ with a ‘substantial’ criminal past.
Austrac has said to 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 challenged at the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority about why Crown didn’t shut down a VIP room, run by SunCity, a VIP junket partner with alleged criminal links, 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.