A greyhound track in Melbourne was raided by police for allegedly laundering AU$4.7m through pokie machines.
Australia.- The Australian Federal Police (AFP) claim to have dismantled a money laundering operation that used slot machines. Three people are being investigated.
According to news.com.au, money was laundered through the cash purchase of winning jackpots from patrons at Greyhounds Entertainment in Springvale. The buyers then deposited the winning cheques into a bank and attributed them as legitimate gambling winnings to conceal their origins.
The investigation, conducted in conjunction with AUSTRAC, the Victorian Gambling & Casino Control Commission and NAB, detected an abnormally high number of cheques between November 2021 and June 2022 when compared to other gaming venues. About 73 per cent of them, worth more than AU$4.7m, were sent to a group of customers suspected of being linked to money laundering.
The suspected leader of the group, a 49-year-old woman from Springvale South, was arrested on Tuesday. The suspected “key brokers”, a 63-year-old man and 61-year-old woman from Noble Park, have also been arrested. The trio will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday (September 8). The maximum penalty for money laundering is 20 years in prison.
Raegan Stewart, AFP acting assistant commissioner, said: “Licensed clubs and gaming venues should already be on notice that they are a significant risk for money laundering activities, and are often misused by individuals for criminal intent.
“Police target those seeking to profit from selling drugs or stealing from law-abiding citizens, but venues are reminded they cannot turn a blind eye to criminal activity – the risk and consequences for our communities are too high.”
Stewart did not rule out making any additional arrests among those who allegedly sold their winning jackpots. Annette Kimmitt, VGCCC chief executive, added that over the last 18 months, Greyhounds Entertainment accounted for 13 per cent of cheques issued by licensed venues in the state.
She said: “There‘s nothing to indicate that the shareholders of this venue are involved at this stage. But investigations are ongoing into the venue itself and its staff.”