AUSTRAC: Junket Tour Operations highly vulnerable to criminal activity

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 14:56 Category: Asia , Casino ,

The risk assessment was prepared to help local casinos protect their business and their community from criminal threats

According to the official report by Australia’s anti-money laundering agency, AUSTRAC, the risk assessment concluded that the overall money laundering and terrorism funding is high. 

Having said that, although terrorism funding is ranked high, the main threat within the Junket Tour Operations (JTOs) is mainly money laundering. 

“The assessment also found that patronage by high-risk customers from foreign jurisdictions is a key vulnerability associated with junkets.” 

These reports come as Crown Resorts were in the center of such investigations due to links with money laundering. Crown Resorts were banned from opening after openly admitting that they were involved in such activities among its VIP accounts, with the integrated resort also suspending junket operations following a public hearing which slammed their internal AML controls as ‘debacle’. 

The AUSTRAC managed to produce such an assessment by collecting information, regarding specific insights on criminal and suspicious activities, from a number of organisations and agencies such as casinos, banks and State and Commonwealth regulatory and lawNicole Rose enforcement agencies. All the information collected was related to junket operations. 

The AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose PSM (pictured), hopes that local casinos will take this assessment seriously and protect their business and their community of players from criminal threats.  

“Money laundering and financial crime enables serious criminal activity such as drug trafficking and human trafficking which causes harm to our communities. Ms. Rose continued to add:

The information contained in this risk assessment shows that junkets are highly vulnerable to criminal misuse and Australian casinos must do more to mitigate ML/TF risks. I urge casinos to take prompt action by assessing their levels of risk posed by junket operations, strengthening their controls and reporting suspicious activity to AUSTRAC.

The assessment was prepared to help the industry understand any suspicious activity targeting “Australia’s financial system and community”. All junket operations are suspended due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Source: AUSTRAC

SiGMA Europe:

Following the UK’s December 2020 release of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, SiGMA Group will move its February event to April. SiGMA Europe, which will be based in Malta, will now run from 13-15 April, 2021.

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