Online and land-based casinos are sometimes the victims of illegal activity such as money laundering. Some fraudsters use gambling venues to deposit and withdraw money they have obtained in an illegal way. Gambling operators are required to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations, so large transactions will be flagged.
After more than 10 years of alleged involvement in a multimillion dollar money laundering scheme, an allegedly involved man is on the run. Branavan Kanapathipillai, a Canadian casino worker, is suspected of having deposited and withdrew more than CA$4,000,000 ($2.9 million) in the past few years.
CTV News released a report revealing that the man was brought to the attention of authorities when in November a cash purchase nearing CA$100,000. ($73.500) at Niagara Falls had been flagged and confiscated. Kanapathipillai, according to reports, was due to appear before a court last week in order to claim the cash seized. He had apparently other plans, and it’s likely he has already fled the country. The authorities can keep the money seized.
The Devil is in the details
Kanapathipilla is suspected of being involved in a massive money laundering scheme involving a sum exceeding CA$11,000,000 ($8.1million) over the past 12 years. A man with a history of fraud and other convictions was accused of being a loan-shark. Kanapathipillai’s activity likely helped him accumulate large sums of money, which he tried to launder in different casinos. It is still important to note that the man does not face any official criminal charges.
Garry Clement is a retired money-laundering specialist from the RCMP. He claimed that casinos should take a proactive stance and prevent individuals like Kanapathipillai from entering. He said: “These are pretty obvious.” “This is more than gambling.”
What’s more, Det. Constable Vic Jetvic wrote in an affidavit, that records from accounts belonging to Kanapathipillai revealed that he would deposit large amounts of money and then withdraw it. Det. Jetvic wrote, “His withdrawal patterns and financial transactions were consistent with money-laundering techniques that I observed as an investigator.”
Toronto casinos filed hundreds of suspicious transactions reports (STRs), relating to Kanapathipilla’s activities. This week, the gambling regulator of Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGC), hinted that it would investigate the matter and determine whether the casino operators adhered to the regulatory framework.