Australian billionaire James Packer looks like he will soon be forced to sell his shares in Casino owner Crown Resorts, which he controlled, because an inquiry has found Crown was involved in money laundering and had links to Chinese organised crime gangs via its partnerships with junket operators.
But that is nothing more than the tip of the iceberg as far as James Packer’s criminal conduct is concerned and he is set to be the star witness in criminal/corruption charges against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was charged in January 2020 and the hearing started on the 24th May 2020 but it is not known exactly when Packer will give evidence as the hearing looks likely to continue into 2021.
Packer has known since at least 2017 he was a star witness against Benjamin Netanyahu. I wrote an article in March 2017 titled “Billionaire James Packer. Is he the world’s richest and most wanted fugitive?” and which gives a good background on Packer’s crimes that explain why he has fallen so far.
It June 2017 it was reported: Israeli media have reported that police in the country will question Australian billionaire James Packer in the coming days, as part of a corruption investigation into allegations Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted lavish gifts from the businessman. (Click here to read more)
In December 2017 it was reported: Billionaire James Packer has been questioned by police in Australia over a corruption investigation involving Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is suspected of receiving luxury gifts from wealthy supporters.
The Australian mogul, who runs the Crown gaming empire and reportedly has a close relationship with Netanyahu, voluntarily attended an interview with the Australian federal police, a police spokesman said on Friday, without specifying when it took place.
“Mr Packer participated in the interview on a voluntary basis as a witness for an investigation being conducted by Israeli authorities,” the spokesman said.
Packer, who recently split up with American singer Mariah Carey, was not suspected of criminal conduct in either Israel or Australia, he added.
Netanyahu has so far been questioned six times over two alleged cases of corruption. (Click here to read more)
Crown Resorts have Casinos in Melbourne, Perth and London and are due to open one in Sydney in December 2020 and the current inquiry is being conducted in NSW to determine if Crown and Packer are fit to hold a Casino licence. It was reported in the SMH (6/11/20):
The inquiry has now heard recommendations to the inquiry that Crown is unfit to hold a licence on two grounds – its partnerships with junket operators linked to organised crime and failures to protect its China staff who were arrested in 2016.
Counsel assisting Naomi Sharp, SC, blamed Packer during his time as Crown chairman for setting in train a strategy of enlisting junkets to bring rich Chinese gamblers to Australia and had set a “dubious” tone of putting profits before all else. (Click here to read more)
Wouldn’t bribing a world leader like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also make James Packer unfit to hold a Casino licence? Yet to my knowledge the NSW Casino inquiry never asked Packer about him bribing Benjamin Netanyahu. Packer hasn’t been charged with bribing Netanyahu but given Packer will be a star witness it is likely because Packer did a deal with police to sing like a canary as a witness against Netanyahu to avoid being charged himself.
The below video is from the ABC’s 7.30 Report on the 31/1/17 and covers the allegations against James Packer bribing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Why James Packer bribing Benjamin Netanyahu is also important in the Crown Resorts inquiry is because Crown was given the right to build a Casino in Sydney in extremely suspicious circumstances where there was no tender process which reeks of government corruption.
The likelihood that James Packer bribed NSW politicians to get the Casino licence with no competitive tender process is almost certain given we know he has a history of bribing politicians and given there is no other logical explanation why there was no government tender process to get the best value for NSW. There needs to be another Inquiry into how Crown and Packer managed to get the NSW Casino licence in the first place.
James Packer claims he has mental health problems and used that as a defence at the Casino inquiry for why he had failed so badly and abused his position. It is interesting how many white-collar criminals play the mental health card when they get busted. The inquiry didn’t buy it because they said Packer provided no evidence that he had any mental health issues.
Packer is a Billionaire and would have had the best lawyers money can buy representing him at the inquiry and they would have known that Packer had to provide evidence of mental health issues if he was going to use that as part of his defence.
The fact that James Packer and his lawyers provided no evidence of Packer having mental health issues says it all. I have no doubt that Packer is a depressed person, but almost all criminals are when they get caught so it is nothing new.
One of the things about James Packer’s downfall is that it shows that even filthy rich people can be brought to account.
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Categories: James Packer