The NSW Crime Commission has begun its inquiry into money laundering in pubs and clubs. “We aren’t starting with any preconceptions about the extent of (any) criminal activity,” NSW Crime Commissioner Michael Barnes said when the investigation was announced late last year in the wake of inquiries into Crown casinos and The Star.
“We know pubs and clubs deliver valuable community services and we are assured ClubsNSW, the peak body for the industry, is committed to stamping out illegality.
“However, we expect the expert investigators, data analysts, lawyers and intelligence officers working on this project will uncover activities not previously known to operators or regulators that will assist to ensure pubs and clubs stay profitable while the community is protected,” Mr Barnes said at the time.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the Commissioner will work in collaboration with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
“Money laundering and organised crime are completely unacceptable in any form. The NSW Crime Commission has the full backing of the NSW Government as they launch this inquiry,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Pubs and clubs play key roles in the fabric of their communities and so recent reports highlighting how organised criminals are laundering money through poker machines are deeply concerning.
Submissions regarding the nature and extent of money laundering through licensed venues in NSW closed in late January.
Under the terms of reference for the inquiry, some allowances may be made for public sittings, but a final decision as to whether they will be necessary as part of the inquiry has yet to be made.