Cambodia – NagaWorld to launch internal investigationBy Phil - 22 September 2014
NagaCorp, which owns the NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh, has launched an internal investigation into potential money laundering.
The Cambodian operator informed that the investigation, which is part of its semi-annual auditing process, would review the first six months of the year, and that the results would be published in its next annual report.
The report said: “NagaCorp has engaged an independent professional party to review the internal controls of the company and its subsidiaries with a focus on anti-money laundering.”
A report by the Swiss-based Basel Institute on Governance, revealed that Cambodia was the third most at-risk country for money laundering.
Another report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said money laundering remained common in Cambodia.
It said: “Despite Cambodia’s high-level political commitment…to address its strategic deficiencies, the FATF is not yet satisfied that Cambodia has made sufficient progress in improving.”
The fear is that players coming into Cambodia, which has 26 casinos most of which are located near its borders, use Thai and Vietnamese bank accounts to disguise the movement of illegal money.
“Casino patrons placing small bets simply hand-carry their money across borders, while others use either bank transfers or junket operators,” the report said.
A US report into the practice said: “There is no effective oversight of cash movement into or out of Cambodia. Cambodian casinos have accounts with major Thai or Vietnamese banks and patrons can wire large amounts of money to one of these foreign accounts.”