One of the most tantalizing stories to reach the airwaves in recent months is the story of a Vietnamese refugee who helped launder over $1 billion dollars through various casinos in Australia. Pete Hoang, age 36, originally came to Australia as a refugee more than three decades ago. Hoang eventually received his Australian citizenship, and was thought to be an extremely successful businessperson by those who knew him.
Unfortunately, the double life that Hoang was leading came to light after he was murdered in Sydney this past September. After digging into his history, law enforcement officials told news outlets that Pete Hoang was a key cog in an extremely complex money laundering scheme that operated in many of Australia’s most popular casinos.
Mick Willing, a police officer in New South Wales, told reporters that Hoang had received millions of dollars from various syndicates over the years. Hoang would then gamble this money at casinos in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and New South Wales.
Early estimates suggest that Hoang might have been responsible for laundering over $1 billion through Australian casinos.
Pete Hoang’s Gambling Habits
A sociologist named Linda Hancock says that Hoang’s gambling habits were extremely unique compared to most other Australian gamblers. Hancock says that Pete Hoang frequently placed high stakes wagers, and was even known to bet $100,000 on a hand of poker.
Hoang’s high stakes behavior made him extremely popular at many of Sydney’s gambling complexes. He was frequently the recipient of free hotel rooms, free flights, and complimentary alcohol.
Hancock, who has spent years studying Australian casinos, says that money laundering is extremely common in Australia. She estimates that more than $10 billion in laundered money is funneled through Australian casinos every year.