The Star Sydney Misled NAB over $664.2 Million in Suspicious Transactions

The drama surrounding the Star Sydney in New South Wales keeps uncovering new details over the resort’s offenses. At a public hearing set by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority of New South Wales, it was uncovered that Star’s assistant group treasurer, Paulina Dudek, misled the National Australia Bank over transactions involving a lot of money.

156 Transactions Were Processed and They Totaled AU$900 Million

Dudek admitted to misleading NAB on the first day of the hearings. When NAB first questioned Dudek about the suspicious activities, she said that the money was used for hotel accommodation. Evidence showed that the total sum of the 156 separate transactions, which were completed via credit cards by China UnionPay, is AU$900 million ($664.2 million).

Naomi Sharp, SC, a counsel that assists the inquiry, asked Dudek if she knows the regulatory framework of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism, to which Dudek responded that her knowledge in that field is very basic.

Furthermore, when Sharp asked Dudek whether she knew about the transactions, she replied that she learned about the exact figure a year after becoming an assistant group treasurer. Dudek was assigned to that position in 2019.

Dudek argued that she had no involvement in these activities and even though she knew that senior management was involved, she felt like she couldn’t challenge a process “that has been in place for a very long time” at the company.

The Star Sydney Is Likely to Lose Its License

An independent review, conducted by Adam Bell SC, has led to the ongoing investigation of Star Sydney. The establishment is accused of organized crime, fraud, money laundering, and foreign interference as it allowed Chinese high-rollers to pour in money to the casino, even though they had criminal ties.

The chair of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) of New South Wales, Phillip Crawford, shared a few words last week and stated that Bell’s review will determine how effectively The Star is complying with the regulations and ultimately, decide whether it meets the standards to hold a license or not.

He also added that The Star is involved in a lot of shady business and that ILGA has confidence that the review will take a deep look at the operations of the establishment and make recommendations for remedial action if that is necessary. Bell’s deadline for handing over the review in June.

To add to that, there are a few other things that The Star should worry about, one of which is its connection to a junket operator called Suncity. This operator was also doing business with Crown Resorts, which has been under a lot of scrutiny by authorities.

Crown was also tangled up in a similar situation as The Star as authorities discovered a lot of illegal activities. Now, the CEO of Crown, Steve McCann, stated that the casino has doubled down on its recovery.

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