Singapore: Vegas Sands Probes Money-Laundering Safeguards at Singapore Unit

Las Vegas Sands Corp. set up a special committee to look into potential breaches of anti-money laundering procedures at its Singapore casino, which has already been the target of probes by U.S. officials and local police.

The committee of three independent board members is reviewing money transfers among high-rollers and third parties at Marina Bay Sands, as well as any possible retaliation against whistleblowers, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP has been hired to assist with the review, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because of the confidentiality involved.

Las Vegas Sands declined to comment.

The investigation into the firm’s second-most profitable unit follows scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice and Singapore police after former patron Wang Xi complained Marina Bay Sands transferred S$9.1 million ($6.8 million) from his casino account to another gamblers without his knowledge. The Wang lawsuit was settled out of court in June with “non-admission” of liability from both sides.

The DOJ is reviewing whether the casino breached money-laundering controls in its treatment of high rollers and retaliated against whistleblowers who are current or former employees, according to a January 2020 subpoena issued to a former chief compliance officer.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada declined to comment. Singapore police couldn’t immediately comment.

Internal Probe

An internal investigation by the casino showed that the transactions sparking the Wang lawsuit weren’t isolated cases. Thousands of transfers worth S$1.64 billion were shuffled among gamblers by casino employees from 2010 to the end of 2018.

The article has been summarised and the original full article can be found at bloomberg.com

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