Crown Casino proves currency of money laundering is corruption, not cash

- CEC Media Release

The 28 July 60 Minutes story on Crown Casino confirms that Australia’s authorities “aid and abet money laundering”, as whistleblower Helen Edwards has declared in an explosive new special episode of the CEC Report.

Click here to watch: Interview with Helen Edwards: Australia is a money laundering washing machine!

Helen Edwards proves that the Morrison government’s excuse for its new bill to ban cash transactions over $10,000, which is that it is necessary to combat money laundering and tax evasion in the black economy, is a fraud. She was a victim of international money laundering syndicates, whose activities should have been detected by the existing anti-money laundering systems that financial institutions are required to have. Instead, in her case CBA, Australia Post, and Western Union ignored the money laundering going on in their institutions, and none of the law enforcement authorities or regulators were interested in her complaints. Australia has such a poor record of enforcing anti-money laundering laws that the criminals who took advantage of Helen bragged that that is why they target Australians! Australia is a money “laundering washing machine”, Edwards said. Her case proves that the solution to money laundering starts with a commitment to enforcing existing laws, not stripping Australians of their rights to use cash instead of the private banking system.

This is also proved by the Crown Casino case. Don’t be surprised if Scott Morrison tries to use the Crown revelations as an example of the need for his cash ban. That’s a ruse, however—the real Crown story is not plastic bags of cash changing hands in view of CCTV cameras, but Crown’s corrupt relationship with successive state and federal governments, which ensured that the authorities looked the other way. For instance, the shadiest character in the Crown story, with alleged links to triads, has a serving Victoria Police member as his bodyguard! And a former Australian Border Force boss revealed that numerous federal ministers and MPs lobbied him for special favours for Crown, and that Crown received special treatment for facilitating visas for its high-rollers.

Aside from: token references to “links to the CCP” (Chinese Communist Party), which are not elaborated; the assertions of the neoconservative think tank ASPI (Australian Strategic Policy Institute), also not backed up; and highlighting the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s cousin as a guest of Crown, but without any evidence of his activities—the 60 Minutes story actually revealed that China is far more serious about policing gambling crimes than Australia.

Crown, Kerry Packer, and the Costigan Commission

It is ironic that Channel Nine is now exposing Crown, as for decades Nine was the jewel in the crown of the Packer family empire, before James Packer sold out of the TV station in 2006-07. Nobody could seriously suggest that Crown hasn’t been involved in money laundering activities from when Kerry Packer opened his first establishment, in Melbourne, in 1994. There were no 60 Minutes investigative reports on Crown while the Packers owned Channel Nine.

Money laundering is a secondary crime that is perpetrated to hide primary crimes, especially drug trading and terrorism. Australia’s record is not just one of covering up money laundering, but also of protecting the drug trade. Growing concerns about the drug trade in the 1970s, including the high-profile murders of anti-drug campaigner Donald Mackay in Griffith in 1977, and CIA-connected merchant banker Frank Nugan in 1980, led to the establishment of the Costigan royal commission. Frank Costigan’s investigation drilled deep into organised crime, and named Kerry Packer as “The Goanna”, allegedly a major player in various criminal activities relating to pornography, tax evasion, drugs, corporate fraud, money laundering, and others. Packer fought the commission at every turn; crucial documents disappeared, and Packer launched waves of legal actions and other delaying tactics. In 1983 Bob Hawke came to power and shut down the Costigan Commission, declaring Packer a “close personal friend” and a “great Australian”. Even so, Packer’s activities filled three volumes of the Costigan Commission’s final report, volumes never made public. A decade later, Packer was able to start Crown Casino, with its special government protection belatedly exposed on 60 Minutes.

The banks are the real culprits

Even Crown Casino is a small player, however, compared with the banks. The global banking system is awash with laundered money, which is a major source of liquidity that many banks would not survive without. In 2009, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, Antonio Maria Costa, revealed that he had seen evidence that drug money kept the financial system afloat during the global financial crisis. He told the 13 December 2009 London Observer that US$352 billion in proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks about to collapse.

In May 2016, Italian anti-mafia campaigner Roberto Saviano testified that the City of London banking centre was “the most corrupt place on earth”. “Most of the world’s money laundering would not exist without the support of banks”, he told a UK House of Commons committee. “The City of London, together with Wall Street, is the world’s biggest ‘launderette’ of drug trafficking’s dirty money.”

Australia too. Back in 1997, the secretary of the Australian Federal Police union, Luke Cornelius, gave an interview to the Citizens Electoral Council’s New Citizen newspaper in which he estimated that there was $7 billion of black money in the banks. He said that “every financial institution in Australia … is happily dealing in … tainted money”. If knowingly, they are “conspiring with organised crime”, he charged. “And if financial institutions aren’t prepared to take social responsibility for the transactions, which they are prepared to engage in, then they bear a responsibility for the capacity for organised crime to take over and direct social policy in this country.” Twenty years later, in 2017 CBA was caught knowingly facilitating money laundering on a massive scale, and it was acknowledged to be widespread in all of the Big Four banks.

And who assists the world’s biggest banks and corporations in their money laundering and tax evasion? The big four global accounting firms, one of which, KPMG, wrote the Australian government’s Black Economy Taskforce report which recommended stripping law abiding Australians of their right to use cash in order to trap us in the private banking system. Their argument for a cash ban is a total fraud, and if the government were truly serious about money laundering and tax evasion, they would go after the big four global audit firms and the big dirty banks.

Click here to watch: Interview with Helen Edwards: Australia is a money laundering washing machine!

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Write a quick email or letter submission to the Treasury consultation on Morrison’s bill banning cash transactions over $10,000, which closes on 12 August, objecting to this law. Don’t think that one submission won’t make a difference—we are going to generate hundreds or even thousands, not to “convince” Treasury, but to send a message to the government and Parliament that the public won’t accept this!

    Email: blackeconomy@treasury.gov.au with the subject line:
    Submission: Exposure Draft—Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019

    Address written submissions to:
    Manager
    Black Economy Division
    Langton Cres
    Parkes ACT 2600
     

  2. Contact your local MP (and your Senators if you can), by email, phone or in person, informing them about this law (there’s a real chance they don’t know), and demanding they oppose it. You could forward the Adams-North video, Red Alert: ScoMo Declares War On The Australian People, and the CEC’s press release from yesterday: Morrison is banning cash so Australians can’t escape bail-in, negative interest rates. Your email or call will be one of many that forces them to recognise the public is angry about this.
     
  3. Sign the CEC’s petition: Hands off our banks deposits—stop ‘bail-in! This is what the cash ban is really about—trapping people in the banking system so they can’t escape from “unnatural” policies like bail-in and negative rates. If we can force the government to scrap the cash ban law, they’ll have to start looking at real reforms for the banks, like the CEC’s Glass-Steagall bill to separate banks with deposits from speculation, the Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2019.
Cash Ban
Bail-in
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Money Laundering