A senior police officer claims organized crime syndicates use casino junkets for money laundering.
During a two-day seminar organized by the Attorney-General’s Chambers in Malaysia’s federal administrative centre Putrajaya, senior investigation officer DSP Foo Wei Min revealed details about a complex money-laundering operation involving casino junkets. The topic was widely covered in local gambling news.
Under Malaysian gambling laws, casinos may offer a junket facility and partner up with tour companies organizing cruises, which then “ship in” clients in exchange for a commission. Officers believe this kind of business is being exploited by criminals.
Gamblers involved in illegal transactions
Foo works for the Bukit Commercial Crime Investigation Department and specializes in forensic accounting. According to him, criminal syndicates register as tour companies and organize trips to casinos in Cambodia, Singapore, the Philippines and as far away as Europe.
“Their customers are not ordinary gamblers. They lure individuals holding key positions in corporate companies and offer them credit facilities to gamble. It’s basically a system where you play first and pay later,” he explained.
The officer says gamblers are offered “dirty money”. When they lose, they have to pay it back, but the cash is already laundered. And that’s not all. Foo added that luxury items such as artwork, gemstones and artifacts are also used in illegal transactions.