Sands beefs up anti-money laundering safeguards - WSJ

NEW YORK Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:00am GMT

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NEW YORK Jan 24 (Reuters) - Las Vegas Sands Corp is no longer making international money transfers for its high-end casino customers and is revamping its compliance procedures as it faces regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The casino operator, which is the subject of a money-laundering investigation by U.S. authorities, has recently hired three former FBI agents to beef up its anti-money-laundering efforts, the Journal reported.

U.S. regulators are taking a look at the casino industry and considering tougher rules to combat money-laundering, the Journal said, citing Treasury Department officials.

The Sands, controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is also planning to improve the background checks the company does on its VIP customers and is retraining its staff on U.S. antibribery laws.

Sands has been in talks with U.S. authorities to resolve a probe into whether the casino failed to alert officials about suspicious transactions of two high rollers at its Las Vegas casino, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

A spokesman for Sands did not immediately respond to a call from Reuters seeking comment.

A spokesman for the Sands told the Wall Street Journal: "We have and will continue to build and enhance the best compliance processes in the business because we are leaders and good corporate citizens."

U.S. law requires casinos to report suspicious money transfers.

Regulatory changes could impose other requirements, such as collecting identification records for high-end customers and doing more research on customers' sources of funds, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

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