Zona de Azar Austria – “UN” Exposes Links Between Casinos, Cryptocurrency, and Organized Crime in Asia
Austria.- January 17th 2024 www.zonadeazar.com The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific has published a report exposing the integral role played by casinos, junkets, and cryptocurrency in the clandestine world of underground banking and money laundering across East and Southeast Asia.
The study emphasizes the significant growth of illegal online casinos, e-junkets, and cryptocurrency exchanges in recent years, coinciding with a surge in cross-border criminal activities within the region.
The report highlights how major organized crime groups exploit online casinos and related businesses to facilitate the movement and laundering of substantial amounts of state-backed fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
Examining specific cases, the report underscores the diversification of illegal online casino operators into cyberfraud and cryptocurrency laundering.
Recommendations within the report aim to enhance knowledge, awareness, policy, capacity, and coordination to assist governments in addressing the escalating situation.
Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, commented, “Casinos and high-cash-volume businesses have long been conduits for underground banking and money laundering. However, the proliferation of underregulated online gambling platforms and crypto exchanges has transformed the landscape. The expansion of the illicit economy necessitated a technology-driven revolution in underground banking, enabling faster anonymized transactions, fund commingling, and new opportunities for organized crime. The advent of scalable, digitized solutions based on casinos and crypto has intensified the criminal business environment across Southeast Asia, particularly in the Mekong region.”