Tour operators with links to powerful Asian crime gangs were used by Crown Resorts to lure Chinese high rollers to its Melbourne and Perth casinos, it has been claimed.
A criminal syndicate known as ‘The Company’ allegedly used Crown-linked bank accounts and high roller rooms to launder funds, a joint investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes has revealed.
Asian criminal syndicates, known as triads, have been linked to Chinese junket operators, who are licensed to bring in wealthy punters to Australian casinos.
Shocking claims have been made that a criminal syndicate known as ‘The Company’ used Crown-linked bank accounts and high roller rooms to launder funds (file image)
These junket operators specialise in marketing overseas casinos to Chinese high-stakes gamblers and can arrange trips and credit for them.
They manage the gamblers’ local funds and liaise with the casinos, who pay them to drum up business.
While some junket operators are legitimate, others are controlled by Asian criminal syndicates, according to the US Government, industry analysts, and Australian law enforcement.
One of these criminal syndicates, The Company, has been linked to criminal activity in Australia for decades.
A 2013 interview between Australian Federal Police and one junket operator, released to The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes, revealed he was hired by The Company because he had contacts at Crown Casino.
Roy Whye Wah Moo said he was recruited by The Company due to his ‘mutual trust,’ with Crown and because laundering money through the casino was ‘easier than using a bank.’
In December 2013, former financial advisor Moo of Doncaster East, Victoria was jailed for two years after he admitted to using Melbourne Crown Casino linked bank accounts to launder $682,000.
Moo was an authorised representative of the Ang Junket Group – which arranged trips to Crown Casino for Asian visitors – and conducted financial transactions using a Crown Patrons Identity.
The arrest was the first confirmation The Company was exploiting Crown to launder money – with Moo revealing to police it was easier to move ‘black money’ through Crown than a bank.
CCTV vision of Moo uncovered during the investigation shows him dumping bundles of cash from a plastic bag onto the counter of a Crown cashier.
Roy Whye Wah Moo (pictured) was captured on CCTV laundering money through Crown for Chinese gangs in 2013
Jenny Jiang (pictured) a former Crown employee who spent a month in a Chinese prison said the company was fast-tracking visas for Chinese gamblers to visit Australia
This money was then wired via Crown’s accounts to members of The Company in Hong Kong, according to The SMH.
Crown’s attempts to lure big gamblers to their Melbourne and Perth casinos prompted a Chinese government anti-corruption operation in October 2016.
The crackdown resulted in 19 former and serving Crown employees being arrested by Chinese authorities.
Jason O’Connor, head of Crown’s ‘international VIP’ programs was convicted of promoting gambling on the Chinese mainland where it is outlawed.
Another of the 19 employees that were arrested is Jenny Jiang who spent a month in a Chinese prison.
Ms Jiang told 60 minutes Crown organised the fast-tracking of hundreds of visas for Chinese nationals who intended to gamble millions in Australian casinos.
Australian Billionaire James Packer owns a 36 per cent stake in Crown – though is in the process of selling down to 20 per cent in September.
Mr Packer last week ‘adamantly’ denied any knowledge of the conduct of the company’s operations in China in a letter through his lawyer to The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes.
He has not held an executive position at Crown Resorts since 2012 and wrapped up his roles as Chairman in August 2015 and a board member in December 2015.
According to the lawyer’s letter Mr Packer played only a ‘passive role’ at Crown.
Crown Resorts Barangaroo casino and hotel project in Sydney is currently under construction and due to open in 2022.
The $2 billion casino is aimed at the high-roller market and is expected to receive a large portion of its business from Chinese nationals on gambling trips.
Crown Resorts Barangaroo casino and hotel project in Sydney is currently under construction and due to open in 2022