In Casino Royale, the CIA agent, Felix Leiter, offers to stake Bond with the understanding that CIA will capture Le Chiffre when the game is over. Yet, when the game is over, Le Chiffre is freely running around, kidnapping and torturing people.

Bond had won the game, Le Chiffre was right there where the CIA wanted him. Then why did they let him run around and do more criminal activities?

The way things proceeded, Le Chiffre could have disappeared with the money if someone else wouldn't have shown up.

  • Given Mathis is a traitor, he may have thrown a wrench in whatever CIA was planning as well.
    – muru
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 15:54
  • 4
    @muru Mathis was not a traitor. That was a red herring.
    – Walt
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


The plot by MI 6 and the CIA is to give Le Chiffre no choice but to turn himself in. They had no legal right to arrest him, lack of evidence and all. Once he lost the money, both organizations hoped the pressure by the real criminal contacts would force Chiffre to turn evidence over, instead of being killed. Both organizations are playing a long game in this. There was no expected immediate payout in the plan. If they arrest him, they would reveal their hand in the events and blow the operation. Additionally, Leiter was playing this by ear. The only reason the CIA could arrange this was because MI-6 decided it got too expensive and Bond was willing to work with them. It was a field decision that wasn't part of the actual CIA plan (Leiter was expected to win).

  • Great answer! Another thing that occurred to me while reading your answer - It'd have been counterproductive to arrest Chriffe because then he'd automatically gain CIAs protection (by being in custody) without having to offer anything in return. So, they kinda needed him to surrender himself. This still doesn't explain why CIA/MI5 weren't keeping track of Chiffre's whereabouts so as to ensure he didn't actually get murdered by Mr. White's organization but I guess then it'd have added another too much complication to the story.
    – Achilles
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 14:27
  • After the game ends, Vesper comes to Bond and says "Mathis says the Americans have made contact with Le Chiffre. They're going to extract him before dawn." This ties up with your answer - the Americans think that Le Chiffre is in the process of willingly turning himself in, so they don't need to babysit him.
    – Kidburla
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 20:54

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