David Brown, former General Manager at Crown Perth, faced the Perth Casino Royal Commission over his (and his team’s) duty of spotting and reporting suspicious online transactions.
The transactions in question were a number of telegraphic payments made into Crown Perth’s Riverbank account between 2013 and 2015, which (as Mr Brown admitted) “looked suspicious.”
All those payments (mostly from overseas) were cash deposits of under $10,000, which is the amount that triggers a report to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
The mentioned deposits were completed at multiple bank branches before being deposited into the Crown Perth Riverbank account, a practice known as “structuring,” which often indicates money laundering.
The ANZ bank closed the casino’s Riverbank account in 2014 over structuring concerns. Crown’s response at that time was opening new accounts with Commonwealth Bank, thus allowing alleged activity to continue.
The Perth Royal Commission is planning to hear from a number of high-ranking executives including former CLO, Joshua Preston, Crown Perth Head of Security and Investigations, Derek Burling and Crown Resorts Group General Manager of Responsible Gaming, Sonja Bauer. After these hearings, the inquiry is scheduled to take a two-week hiatus.
The Crown Perth current inquiry (which began in May) follows the NSW investigation which resulted in the revocation of Crown’s Sydney’s licence.
The said investigation discovered evidence the James Packer-backed company had been infiltrated by organised crime and took part in money laundering.