Crown Resorts Faces Landmark Investigation Over Corrupt VIP Visa Services
The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) has taken a major step to launch an unprecedented probe and public hearings over the corruption allegations surrounding Australia’s biggest operator Crown Resorts.
The public hearing will take place next week in light of Crown’s dealings with the Department of Home Affairs.
To be more specific, Australian consulate offices in Mainland China allegedly assisted Crown Resorts to get some certain visa applications immediately rubber-stamped and fast-tracked certain VIP visas.
According to ACLEI Head Michael Griffin, the first public hearings will take place in in Melbourne on October 29. The probe is supposed to find out whether the interactions between Home Affairs and the Crown Resorts were by the book or laws were breached. There are concerns that Crown Resorts might have used their influence to gain special favours from Home Affairs for some of the VIP gamblers who are known to spend massive amounts in a single night.
Jenny Jiang who is an ex-employee of Crown Resorts who was jailed in China as she was part of the group that helped to promote Crown Resorts in China. She was arrested because it is illegal to promote any gambling services in Mainland China. Jiang is currently serving as a whistleblower against her former employers. According to Jiang, the conglomerate gave huge incentives for its staff in its Mainland China offices to break Chinese law but then quickly cut ties with them when the authorities swooped in.
Jiang claims that the Australian consulate offices in China assisted in fast-tracking VIP visas and rubber-stamping visa applications. The allegations were referred to the ACLEI by the Morrison Government after revelations were dropped by 60 Minutes, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. The news agencies also showed how Crown Resorts partnered with tour companies which are backed by crime syndicates with links to human trafficking, money laundering, and drug running.
60 Minutes Australia
Partners-in-Crime For VIP Gambling
According to leaked emails, the Australian Visa and Consulate Offices and Crown Resorts were quite cozy with each other and the fraudulent crimes they were perpetrating. The fast-tracked visas allowed affluent Chinese gamblers to gain quick access to Crown venues in Perth and Melbourne.
This is a big concern as compromising VISA laws also compromises Australian national security, especially so when some of these VIP gamblers are reported to have ties to criminal syndicates in China.
Officials from Home Affairs and senior executives from Crown Resorts will be questioned at the hearings. The inquiry will be led by New South Wales Barrister David McClure S.C who has worked on some high-profile cases for the Australian Tax Office and Australian Federal Police.