Unemployed Man Purchases $13 Million In Chips At Crown Casino

In a worrying development for Australian authorities, criminal gangs are becoming ever more brazen in their attempts to launder their money through casinos.
Centrelink is the company which handles the country’s social security payments, and has been working closely with organised-crime investigators in order to bring dole cheats to justice. Recently, they have alerted investigators to at least 15 people believed involved in the scam, including one unemployed man from Victoria, who managed to shell out $13 million purchasing chips at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
In 2008, the ‘Herald Sun’ reported around 2600 Centrelink clients, each of whom bought about $50,000 in casino chips, with at least 30 people purchasing in excess of $1 million. Most of those identified turned out to be dole cheats with gambling addictions that had been targeted by criminal gangs, but others were found to have more direct links with organised crime.
Organised criminal gangs are often intricately involved in illegal arms dealing, drug trafficking and financial crimes, costing the Australian economy between $10 billion to 15 billion a year, $6 billion of which is transferred out of the country into offshore accounts.
Commenting on the situation, Australian Crime Commission (ACC) chief executive John Lawler, said: “The ACC will continue to work with the casino industry to ensure serious and organised criminal entities involved in money laundering are identified and pursued.” 
The Australian Crime Commission has been closely scrutinizing casinos over the past year and a half, whilst working closely with other agencies, such as Centrelink, Immigration, Customs, and the Tax Office. Meanwhile, Human Services Minister Chris Bowen sent this clear message to those people involved in social security crime:
“Welfare fraud is a criminal offence liable to long jail sentences. People who fraudulently claim benefits from Centrelink should consider themselves warned. It’s not a question of if you’ll be caught, but when.”

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