Crown Resorts Allegedly Authorized $550k Wire Transfer to Convicted Drug Trafficker

  • Company being investigated in New South Wales to determine suitability of Sydney casino license
  • Vice president allegedly authorized AU$500,000 wire transfer to convicted drug trafficker Nan Hu
  • Details of sizable transaction not reported to the authorities as required by law
  • Public hearing will continue for next couple of weeks as part of ongoing NSW inquiry
Crown Resorts hotel sign
Crown Resorts allegedly allowed a AU$500,000 wire transfer to a convicted drug trafficker, new investigation findings have revealed. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The latest revelation from the NSW inquiry

Authorities in New South Wales (NSW), Australia involved in the Crown Resorts inquiry have discovered a wire transfer that was allegedly processed by the company to a convicted drug trafficker.

reportedly authorized an employee to transfer AU$500,000 to known Melbourne drug trafficker Nan Hu

In 2017 Veng Anh, Crown Resorts’ vice president, reportedly authorized an employee to transfer AU$500,000 (US$330,000) to known Melbourne drug trafficker Nan Hu. 

Hu, a nightclub owner, got a conviction for trafficking cocaine in 2015. He also allegedly has links to organized crime groups in the country.

The NSW inquiry being carried out will determine whether Crown Resorts can hold a casino license in the region. The Australian gambling and entertainment group is planning to build a AU$1.5bn (US$1bn) casino in Sydney, but hopes for an operator’s license have been dealt a blow by this latest revelation. 

Company lacking anti-money laundering systems

According to Todd Harland, the former director of intelligence for the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the wire transfer is an indication of the casino company not having proper anti-money laundering measures in place. 

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said, “Taking cash and putting it through a casino and hopefully turning that into some level of winnings, or at least the ability to make it look like it was winnings – that’s money laundering 101.”

Crown Resorts did not comment on the revelation but said it will be taking the allegation very seriously. It added that it will be dealing with the relevant authorities to help investigate the matter further. 

The ongoing Crown Resorts inquiry

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority is heading the Crown Resorts inquiry. The first part of the probe involved a public hearing on January 21. Investigations are set to continue from today onwards for a couple of weeks. 

The inquiry will mainly look at alleged links Crown Resorts has with organized crime and their relations with junket groups, paying particular attention to money laundering practices. 

details of the wire transfer were not reported

AUSTRAC noted no evidence indicating that Ang knew about Hu’s drug trafficking-related arrests when he authorized the wire transfer. However, it said the details of the wire transfer were not reported. Any suspicious transactions and transfers worth more than AU$10,000 (US$6,600) legally must be made known to the authorities.

Founder James Packer impacted

Crown Resorts founder and billionaire James Packer no longer holds an executive role in the company. He still has a 37% stake in the business estimated at AU$8 billion (US$5.2 billion).

The discovery of the wire transaction is the latest blow to Packer’s reputation over the past few years. He was the subject of numerous allegations of potential money laundering, drugs, Crown Resorts’ approach to attracting VIP gamblers, and a couple of botched company sales.

Packer will likely have to provide testimony at some stage of the inquiry.

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