Let’s hold the moralising because all Crown has done is pursue the contemporary Australian business model. Via Domain:
Jiang opened the door to see four men and one woman wearing grim expressions. It was clear they weren’t plumbers. Flashing cards identifying themselves as agents of China’s secretive Ministry of Public Security, they hustled into her apartment.
The interrogation began immediately: What was her position at Crown? Did she have any work computers at home? Or phones? Or Crown documents?
They searched her home and placed the quietly spoken 36-year-old under arrest. Then they drove her to a police holding cell where the questioning continued.
Jiang’s world was turning upside-down. She was Crown’s administration and logistics officer. She arranged people’s travel. She was not hands on in the strategy of the James Packer-backed company to lure high rolling gamblers from the Chinese mainland to Australia.
On it goes with a sordid tale of black money laundering through Australia. You can watch 60 Minutes for more:
And this is where it turns from entirely predictable Casino business to national prosperity, also at Domain:
Tom Zhou is a short man with a round, boyish face and an intense demeanour. His familiarity with luxury travel was thanks to a special arrangement he had made with a company then majority owned by one of Australia’s richest men, James Packer.
…When Zhou’s associates wanted visas to enter Australia, Crown would vouch for them to the federal government.
In return, Crown relied on Zhou, who lives in a mansion in Melbourne’s Toorak, to circumvent Chinese laws that outlaw gambling promotion in China. These laws also ban the luring of groups of rich and powerful mainlanders to offshore casinos to punt.
…But Zhou is no ordinary Crown partner. He is, in fact, an international criminal fugitive, the subject of an Interpol red notice for financial crime that netted him tens of millions of dollars. He is supposed to be arrested immediately if he crosses a country’s border.
And from an Australian national security point of view, he is a double threat. He also heads several Chinese Communist Party-aligned organisations in Melbourne designed to project Beijing’s influence in Australia.
It makes him someone of keen interest to organisations such as the Australian Federal Police and ASIO.
But wait, there’s more, also at Domain:
Crown Resorts paid a brothel owner and alleged money launderer to lure high rollers to its Australian casinos and then provided them with money to gamble, according to court files and officials that raise further questions about the company’s business dealings.
Multiple sources with knowledge of Crown’s operations have also confirmed that Asian sex workers have been flown into Australia on private jets organised by Crown “junket” operators.
Aaaand more, Domain again:
A cousin of Chinese President Xi Jinping was aboard a private jet for high-roller gamblers when it was searched by federal agents on the Gold Coast in 2016 on suspicion that it was involved in international money laundering.
The initial target of the police search of the jet’s passengers was an alleged criminal fugitive and business partner of Crown Resorts, Tom Zhou. But the search also revealed that one of Mr Zhou’s travelling companions was Mr Xi’s cousin, Ming Chai.
Multiple sources have confirmed that police and security agencies, including ASIO, have since made detailed inquiries about why Mr Chai – a Crown resorts “VVIP” (very, very important person) – was aboard the flight with Mr Zhou, who is an alleged crime figure and Communist Party influence operative.
EXCLUSIVE: #60Mins and @Ageinvestigates can reveal Former Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg says he was encouraged by several members of parliament to fast track Crown’s Chinese high-rollers through Australian borders. pic.twitter.com/HuVgDjKVxS
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) July 28, 2019
On and on it goes and where it stops nobody knows. But if we review the broad brushstrokes of it a pattern becomes clear:
- dodgy Chinese laundering money through Australia;
- generating all kinds of wildly exploitative new services industry business models reliant on slavery;
- piggy-backing Communist Party influence Downunder;
- which corrupted the parliament;
- resulting in a rorted the Swiss cheese visa system;
- rinse and repeat.
That is more or less a microcosm of the contemporary Australian economy as it operates across education, tourism, hospitality and property. It is indistinguishable from the local shops, the difference in degree not kind.
To fix it we must restructure the economy.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.