In Truganina, Victoria Police’s anti-gang Viper Taskforce has dismantled an illegal high-end casino in a factory with alleged ties to organized crime. The police officers raided the factory on Thursday night with sniffer dogs and the Gaming and Casino Control Commission staff.
The operation led to the arrest of 21 individuals and confiscating cash, drugs, alcohol, and gaming equipment. The illicit casino, which required a minimum buy-in of $8,000, hosted up to 50 players nightly without a proper license. An unlicensed bar provided alcohol, and authorities discovered drugs on the premises.
A 35-year-old man from Truganina believed to be the operator, is expected to face charges through a summons for conducting unauthorized gambling. He will also be charged for promoting unauthorized gambling and engaging in the sale and storage of liquor without a license.
Twenty individuals, suspected to be participants, are anticipated to be charged with being present at an unauthorized gambling establishment, consuming alcohol on unlicensed premises, and possessing illegal drugs.
According to Inspector Scott Colson of the Westgate Police Division, the police intend to charge individuals involved with various criminal offenses at the purported illegal casino, including charges of drug trafficking and possessing firearms.
“Our investigation concluded last night, as local detectives, the Viper Taskforce, State Liquor Unit and Public Order Response Team executed a warrant which led to the arrest of 21 people,” Colson said. “When significant quantities of cash are seized from organized crime syndicates, we know this deals a hammer blow to their ability to fund further illegal activity.”
Unauthorized gambling, as outlined in the Gambling Regulation Act, is a grave offense in Victoria. There is a potential two-year prison sentence maximum or a fine of $192,000 upon conviction.
Senior Sergeant Thomas McCowan of Victoria Police, speaking outside the warehouse on Friday, said the activity was recognized for its association with organized crime. The police received assistance from the State Liquor Unit and the Victorian Gaming and Casino Control Commission, both of which play a role in enforcing regulations within the liquor and gambling sectors.
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