Monday, October 20, 2014

Millions in suspicious transactions flowed through area casinos in 3-month period, mostly in $20 bills

NDP charges the provincial government has done nothing of substance to stem money-laundering

Gamblers flocked into four Vancouver-area casinos over a recent three-month period hauling bags of $20 bills that added up to millions of dollars in suspicious transactions, according to information provided by the provincial Finance Ministry in response to a freedom of information request from the CBC.

The Edgewater Casino in the Plaza of Nations in Vancouver alone reported $5,242,090 in unusual transactions from March 20 to June 21.

CBC reported that $2.5 million in suspicious transactions occurred at New Westminster’s Starlight Casino, while $24 million was flagged at Richmond’s River Rock Casino.
Police were rarely, if ever contacted, according to the incident reports.

In some cases, patrons showed up at the door with plastic or brown paper bags filled with cash in wads held together by rubber bands.

For example, on May 5, a person showed up at the Starlight Casino with $49,900 in $100, $50 and $20 bills wrapped in rubber bands and stashed in a paper Body Shop bag.

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Source:  The Vancover Sun

Friday, October 17, 2014

River Rock, Starlight Casinos saw $27M in Suspicious Transactions this Spring

Promise to clean up 'dirty money' at B.C. casinos results in little change, says NDP critic

A CBC News investigation has discovered a rush of suspicious money totaling almost $27 million flowed through two B.C. casinos this spring.

Most of the mystery money that came in from mid-March to mid-June arrived in bundles of $20 bills — a common currency used to buy street drugs.

With cash transactions at casinos, the source of the money is unknown and there is the possibility that gangsters are using the system to launder dirty money: buying in, but not necessarily betting, and then cashing out the credit and claiming the income as winnings.

Three years ago, the B.C. government said it would move away from large cash transactions at casinos in a move to crack down on suspected money laundering, but critics say that clearly hasn't happened.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that in three months, $2.5 million in suspicious transactions occurred at New Westminster's Starlight Casino, and $24 million was flagged as suspicious at Richmond's River Rock Casino.

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Article by: CBS News

Friday, August 15, 2014

Banks Don't Want To Be Responsible For Busting People For Laundering Money At Casinos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Large global banks are facing increased pressure from U.S. regulators to clamp down on casino money-laundering as the government pushes the industry to police not only its own transactions but customers' as well.

Bankers, casino executives and consultants said the U.S. crackdown has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny and collaboration between the two industries, including banks vetting casino customers' anti-money laundering systems, checking to make sure casinos don’t accept anonymous wire transfers, and offering databases and other information to help the gaming industry identify risky transactions.

While the idea of money-laundering through casinos is nothing new – and has been fodder for plots in Hollywood movies like "Casino" – until recently, banks haven't been expected to take part in regulators' and prosecutors' pursuit of such criminals.

Some bank executives grumble about the extent of the work they have to do for government enforcement agencies now, and the penalty for failure. Standard Chartered Plc said on August 6 that a computer in its anti-money-laundering surveillance system made an error, which a source said could trigger fines between $100 million and $340 million payable to New York State's financial regulator. In an interview with Reuters on August 7, Standard Chartered Chief Executive of Asia, Jaspal Bindra, said the penalties are unfair.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

FinCEN Director Shasky Calvery's Remarks to Mid-Atlantic AML Conference

August 12, 2014:  FinCEN Director, Jennifer Shasky Calvery provided keynote remarks to an audience of industry, regulatory, and law enforcement AML professionals.

AUGUST 12, 2014

Read her wide-ranging discussion of current AML issues.
Good morning. I am honored to be a part of this year’s conference, which brings together law enforcement, the regulatory community, and the financial industry. I would like to thank everyone on the planning committee who worked to pull together such a compelling agenda for this event. I know I am the first of several FinCEN speakers you will be hearing from today, and we are looking forward to engaging with all of you. While each agency or institution represented here may approach anti-money laundering (AML) issues from a different perspective, and have its own unique challenges, an event such as this shows us that we all have the same ultimate goal in mind.
As you likely already know, the Bank Secrecy Act, or “BSA,” is the common name for a series of statutes and regulations that form this country’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism laws. Nearly every country around the world has similar laws in place at this point. These laws are meant to protect the integrity of the financial system by leveraging the assistance of financial institutions to make it more transparent and resilient to crime and security threats, and to provide information useful to law enforcement and others to combat such threats.