CIA keeping tab on Goa casinos?

Panaji, April 9 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Tuesday dodged a query from a legislator who asked if US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials are in the state to probe casinos and their alleged links to terrorist activities.

Parrikar instead said in a written reply that “the matter falls in the domain of central government and hence cannot be replied”.

The question was asked by independent legislator Rohan Khaunte.

The chief minister also gave a clean chit to Goa’s multi-million dollar casino industry, saying it was “not linked to terrorist activities in India”.

Interestingly, earlier this year, the Goa government had issued fresh guidelines, which included filling up of Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for casinos patrons because of alleged money laundering and terror financing.

“The objective of these guidelines is to prevent casinos from being used, intentionally or unintentionally, by criminal elements for money laundering or terrorist financing activities,” a notification issued in January said.

“Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures also enable casinos to understand their customers and their financial dealings better which in turn help them manage their risks prudently,” the notification added.

Goa has over a dozen onshore casinos and five offshore casinos that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

The notification also made it mandatory for casino operators to profile their customers.

“Casinos shall verify the identity of the customer and seek information about the sources of funds before accepting the Politically Exposed Person (PEP) as a customer,” it said.

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