The Australian financial crimes watchdog has released a complete risk assessment on the sector.
Australia.- The national financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC has released a new risk assessment on junket operations.
The assessment found “the overall money laundering and terrorism financing risk associated with the junket tour operations sector to be high.”
Money laundering is identified as the main vulnerability, particularly through the patronage of high-risk customers from foreign jurisdictions.
To compile the report, AUSTRAC obtained information from banks, casinos, State and commonwealth regulatory and law enforcement agencies.
The goal of the assessment was to help casinos evaluate their level of risk when being exposed to junket operations and to strengthen their controls and protocols for report suspicious activity to AUSTRAC, the watchdog said.
AUSTRAC’s chief executive, Nicole Rose, said: “The information contained in this risk assessment shows that junkets are highly vulnerable to criminal misuse and Australian casinos must do more to mitigate money loundering and terrorism financing 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 report comes days after Rose told a Senate hearing that casinos must monitor junket compliance, not AUSTRAC. he added that it would be “preferable” if all state gaming bodies implemented licensing regimes for junket operators.