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NEWS & EVENTS

CRA - CID JOINT TRAINING SYMPOSIUM 2009

01 Jul 2009

Speech by Mr. K. Shanmugam, Minister for Law and Second Minister for Home Affairs


KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY MR. K. SHANMUGAM, MINISTER FOR LAW AND SECOND MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS, AT THE CRA-CID JOINT TRAINING SYMPOSIUM 2009, HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 1 JULY 2009, AT 9AM, AT THE POLICE CANTONMENT COMPLEX AUDITORIUM.



Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,



Good morning,



INTRODUCTION


Singapore's two integrated resorts (IRs), each with its own casino, will open next year. The IRs will be a boost to Singapore as a tourist destination.



2. But for them to succeed, the casinos must be kept free of criminal influence. To ensure that organised crime does not gain a foothold, our legal and surveillance systems have to be robust. In this regard, the CRA and CID will have to work closely. While the CRA will be in charge of regulating the operations of the casino through the Casino Control Act, CID and Police will have to deal with crime related issues.



STRENGTHENING THE FRAMEWORK


3. CRA and CID have together made good progress in further strengthening their framework and systems to deal with IR-related challenges.



4. The CRA has been consulting the industry and is steadily putting in place the various pillars of its regulatory regime in the lead up to the casinos' opening. For example, it is developing protocols to prevent money laundering and to screen key casino employees, associates and junket operators. The CRA has also developed technical standards for gaming equipment and has already designated BMM Australia Pte Ltd and Gaming Laboratory International LLC as Singapore Recognised Testing Laboratories to assess whether gaming machines deployed in the casinos meet CRA's standards.



5. We will ensure that there are sufficient resources on the ground to deter criminal activity. A new Marina Bay NPC will be set up to oversee the Marina Bay IR. Bukit Merah West NPC will oversee the Sentosa IR. In addition, CID will establish a Casino Investigation Branch to detect and investigate casino-related crimes, including forgery of chips and other offences which may affect the integrity of the games.



LEARNING FROM PARTNERS


6. CRA and Police will continue to partner overseas agencies to fast track the development of their own expertise. CRA officers have attended conferences organised by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) and the Australasian Casino and Gaming Regulators (ACGR) to learn from the experiences of overseas regulators. Recently, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board invited the CRA to observe its preparations for the Bethlehem Sands casino opening.



7. On the Police front, CID participated in Project ACES, a crime project initiated by Interpol which is dedicated to combating casino-centric organised crime in Asia and the South Pacific region. CID officers have served attachments with the Victoria Police, Macau Judiciary Police, Las Vegas Police and Genting Malaysia. SPF has learnt from the French Police about enforcement strategies and preventive measures against fraud. Earlier this year, veteran police officers and practitioners from Macau also ran a Casino Workshop for the Home Team. These learning experiences will serve the CRA and CID well in their preparations.



FORTIFYING THE FRONTLINE


8. The IRs are potential targets, not just for criminals, but also for terrorists. Our robust frameworks and varied experiences must translate to safety, security, law and order on the ground. To achieve this, frontline forces and domain owners need to be attuned to the operating environment in and around the IRs as a whole.



9. No matter how strong our systemic responses are, we will not succeed if our officers, operators and other security personnel on the ground do not have the correct training. They are the first line of defence. They must have situational awareness and operational reflexes to quickly identify threats, intercept them and intervene promptly. Whether it is the NPC officer patrolling the IR, the casino inspector doing checks on the gaming floor, or security officers patrolling their sectors, each person on the ground has a crucial part to play.



10. This is why training opportunities like today's symposium are so important. A particular word of thanks for our overseas counterparts who have come a long way. The IRs pose a paradigm challenge. We are very good at the effective regulation of our financial sector. However, the casinos bring with them a whole variety of related problems and pose an operational paradigm challenge even for police officers who are generally used to dealing with people who are law abiding. Our overseas trainers help to fast track our learning and they deserve a round of applause.



CONCLUSION


11. In conclusion, I encourage all participants to take this opportunity to learn from each other's diverse experiences. I would like to thank all guest speakers for taking time off your busy schedules .


12. I am happy to declare the CRA-CID Joint Training Symposium 2009 open and I wish you all a fruitful symposium.


13. Thank you.