Crown executive asked private investigator to follow The Age reporter
“You hired a private investigator to monitor a reporter who was investigating Ishan Ratnam … and then reported it to Craig Walsh,” investigating lawyer Adrian Finanzio asked. “Why?”
“Because I don’t think I had any direct communications [communication] with Ishan, âreplied the witness.
âSo you went through Craig Walsh in Ishan,â Mr. Finanzio asked.
âYeah,â he replied.
The investigation learned that the private contractor once asked Mr. Walsh to act as an arbiter for Mr. Zhou in order to rent a property in Sydney. He also texted Mr. Walsh from one of Crown’s VIP gaming lounges, boasting that Mr. Zhou’s âChinatownâ junket had just brought in $ 10 billion in bets.
âBring it,â Mr. Walsh replied.
The security contractor said Mr. Zhou sometimes paid him in cash and on one occasion he traveled to New Zealand with Mr. Zhou and a group of players. Federal police boarded their private jet at Coolangatta Airport before departure, in an incident previously detailed by this mast.
At the Auckland Casino, the entrepreneur said he was dealing with NZ $ 24 million in gambling chips and returned to Australia with NZ $ 180,000 in cash in a brown paper bag.
Despite these events, the former policeman said he had no suspicion of Mr. Zhou’s probity until he learned that he had been arrested in Vanuatu and extradited to China in early 2020 for charges. suspicion of money laundering and corruption.
The man said he did not recall whether he spoke to Mr. Walsh about any of the events that may have raised questions about the legality of Mr. Zhou’s business.
âI was naive and just thought they were empowered guys with a lot of money who just did what they wanted to do because they had a lot of money,â he said.
Mr. Walsh will testify before the commission on Friday.
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