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Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is a convicted war criminal who was sentenced to 50 years in jail. (Rob Keeris: Reuters)
A businessman banned from journey by the United Nations, as a result of he supplied navy and monetary assist to Liberian warfare prison Charles Taylor, gambled thousands and thousands in Crown On line casino high-roller rooms regardless of worldwide sanctions towards him.
- Joseph Wong Kiia Tai was on the UN sanctions listing from 2004 to 2015
- He entered Australia and gambled at Crown’s casinos a number of occasions, regardless that he was banned from journey
- He misplaced greater than $6 million within the high-roller rooms for junket operators
Joseph Wong Kiia Tai was positioned on the UN sanctions listing — which froze his belongings and banned him from travelling — in 2004 for aiding Taylor, who was sentenced to 50 years for war atrocities during the Sierra Leone civil war.
The UN sanction itemizing states Mr Wong was an arms vendor in contravention of a UN decision and that he “supported former president Taylor’s regime in an effort to destabilise Sierra Leone and achieve illicit entry to diamonds.”
Regardless of the blacklisting, Mr Wong was capable of enter Australia and gamble in Crown’s Melbourne and Perth casinos, information seen by the ABC confirmed.
Junket operators recruit rich foreigners to visit Crown gambling in special private rooms. (ABC News: Jane Cowan)
In the course of the time the sanctions had been in place, Mr Wong visited Australia a number of occasions, dropping greater than $6 million at Crown’s casinos.
The revelations will increase additional questions concerning the calibre of gamblers at Crown’s casinos and what checks it does on big-spending punters.
Crown On line casino has been within the highlight over cash laundering allegations and prison hyperlinks to its profitable junket operations.
Junket operators recruit cashed-up international punters to go to Crown, typically arriving in non-public jets and so they gamble in particular non-public rooms on the on line casino.
Mr Wong is known to have travelled as a junket visitor.
The sanctions towards him had been lifted in 2015.
The United Nations sanctions had been endorsed by the Australian Authorities.
The Division of House Affairs has confirmed it was conscious of the case and mentioned “it completely investigates cases of misuse of the visa system and takes motion to mitigate towards additional occurrences, the place applicable”.
A Crown spokesman mentioned it took all of its obligations “very significantly and has little interest in being utilized by prison parts”.
“In assist of this, Crown works carefully with Australia’s legislation enforcement and regulatory businesses on a spread of issues, and assists in offering data for ongoing and new investigations,” the spokesman mentioned.
“Crown is sure by a variety of non-disclosure necessities together with these imposed underneath laws and by legislation enforcement businesses.”
The information got here simply days after the ABC revealed leaked CCTV footage showing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, carried casually in supermarket bags, being exchanged in non-public high-roller rooms for worldwide junket operators.
Whistleblowers accused Crown of not correctly reporting transactions over $10,00zero to Australia’s anti-money laundering authority, AUSTRAC, warning of the excessive danger of prison cash laundering.
The whistleblowers additionally mentioned the Victorian Fee for Playing and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) haven’t taken sufficient motion towards Crown.
The Victorian Authorities has defended the VCGLR but ordered a probe into allegations made in the Nine papers in July.
Requested concerning the case of Mr Wong on Thursday morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews mentioned the Authorities took such issues “very significantly”.
“We wish a state of affairs the place the integrity of those that go to us is well-checked by means of our customs and border safety course of,” he mentioned.
He mentioned there have been processes and guidelines about who got here to Australia, or who made it onto the on line casino ground, “for excellent causes”.
“Any breach of these [rules] is a really regarding matter,” he mentioned.
“However let’s unravel precisely what has occurred, let’s set up the details, let’s let the regulators come ahead with their findings, come ahead with their suggestions and be in little doubt, based mostly on the work they may do, we is not going to hesitate to behave.”
Victorian Gaming Minister Marlene Kairouz on Wednesday was unable to call one incident the place the fee took motion towards Crown.
Final yr it did wonderful the on line casino $300,00zero for removing betting options on a handful of its poker machines.
Requested about individuals on UN blacklists playing at Crown on Wednesday, Ms Kairouz didn’t immediately reply.
“I’ve requested the fee to go and re-examine all of the allegations which were put ahead,” she mentioned.
“If anybody has any additional data that they will help with these investigations, the re-examination of those allegations, they’re greater than welcome to take action.”