The former cage boss at Crown Perth says his department can do more to flag suspicious online transactions made into a company. Control bank account believe to use in money laundering.
David Brown, who until September 2020 is Crown Perth’s general manager of cage and account, on Tuesday face a grilling at the Perth Casino Royal Commission over his responsibilities.
And that of his team to spot and report suspicious online transactions.
Payments Made Into Crown Perth’s Riverbank Account
At the center of Tuesday’s questioning are several telegraphic payments made into Crown Perth’s Riverbank account between 2013 and 2015, which Mr. Brown acknowledges looking suspicious in hindsight.
In addition, they allege suspicious payments, which the inquiry heard were mostly from overseas, are cash deposits under the $10,000 threshold requiring oversight from the casino’s cage and account supervisors. Also, this is the amount that triggers a report to the financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC.
Furthermore, the cash deposits are complete at multiple bank branches before being deposited into the Crown Perth Riverbank account, a practice known as structuring. And often indicates money laundering. The ANZ Bank in 2014 closes the casino’s Riverbank account due to its concerns over structuring.
CommonWealth Bank Account
However, Crown later opens new accounts with Commonwealth Bank, allowing the alleged activity to continue. Moreover, the inquiry heard by Mr. Brown, who is the cage boss at Crown Perth for 15 years before taking up a similar role with the company in Sydney last year, raises concern over the payments into ANZ accounts during a 2014 conversation with Crown Perth regulatory and compliance manager Denise Vanderklau.
Mr. Brown says he cannot recall the conversation, but acknowledge an email sent by Ms. Vanderklau that addresses the matter. Senior counsel assisting the commission, Patricia Cahill, expresses disbelief that Mr. Brown does not remember the conversation.
Ms. Cahill says to Mr. Brown that it’s a conversation he suggests that you clearly will remember if you have it.
And she also suggests to you that you do, which is why you explain to Ms. Vanderklau that you understand the concerns of the ANZ Bank at this time, regarding the structuring of cash deposits through its accounts.
In addition, he asks Mr. Brown does all of the activity in the Riverbank account looks suspicious to you? And Mr. Brown answers he will look at that and think that it looks suspicious.
Dodging Personal Responsibility For The Cage Failing
Ms. Cahill asks Mr. Brown if he is dodging personal responsibility for the cage failing to properly monitor potentially suspicious payments and initiating reports as appropriate. In addition, in response, Mr. Brown says there are numerous bodies and numerous processes involving numerous people who have access to the information who can also have acted, including cage staff.
Also, Mr. Brown says he doesn’t think he can be responsible for every transaction that occurred daily. And Ms. Cahill replies saying that but you are Mr. Brown, as general manager of cage and account? And Mr. Brown says you’re saying as the first line of defense, I would have to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that those transactions aren’t going ahead.
I think that that’s a difficult call, I think that you’re relying on the department doing the right thing.
In conclusion, the former Crown Perth is being accused of failing to manage the casino payments at the WA royal commission.