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DIA & SkyCity Reach Settlement Agreement For Anti-Money Laundering And Countering Financing Of Terrorism Breaches

Published: Tue 21 May 2024 08:52 AM
A settlement has been reached between the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), and SkyCity Casino Management Limited (SkyCity) regarding DIA’s civil proceedings against SkyCity for breaching its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations.
As part of the settlement agreed to by both parties, SkyCity has admitted to all five causes of action in DIA’s statement of claim. SkyCity has also agreed to pay a penalty for the breaches.
The parties will now recommend to the High Court that the proceedings can move to a penalty hearing, where a penalty amount will be determined. The parties have agreed to jointly submit to the Court that a penalty of $4.16m is appropriate in this case, though the final determination is for the Court.
Between September 2022 and December 2023, DIA conducted a review of SkyCity’s AML/CFT compliance, which found it breached its obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.
The breached obligations related to its AML/CFT risk assessment, establishing, implementing and maintaining an AML/CFT compliance programme, the monitoring of accounts and transactions, conducting compliant enhanced customer due diligence, and terminating existing business relationships when required. These failures spanned between February 2018 and March 2023.
There was no evidence to suggest that SkyCity was directly involved in money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
“This agreement is an impactful outcome” says Mike Stone, Director AML/CFT Group DIA.
“We have achieved our desired result without the extended duration and cost of court proceedings.”
“While we consider these regulatory breaches to be serious, we are pleased that SkyCity was able to admit to the breaches and acknowledged responsibility for what were significant failings.”
“It is encouraging to see the work SkyCity has already done to lift its performance in this area and its public commitment to continue to improve. We will be working closely with SkyCity in the future in relation to its ongoing compliance obligations.”
“We are proud that our work has contributed to the integrity of New Zealand’s financial system and can encourage public confidence in our regulations aimed at deterring money laundering and terrorism financing.”
More information can be found about DIA’s role in the AML/CFT system and our regulatory approach on our webpage here: https://www.dia.govt.nz/AML-CFT-Homepage

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