British Columbia Seizes $1.1M From Woman Accused of Washing Millions Through Casinos
Posted on: December 9, 2021, 04:53h.
Last updated on: December 9, 2021, 07:10h.
British Columbia will seize more than $1 million from alleged Richmond, Vancouver casino money launderer Caixuan Qin as part of a civil forfeiture agreement.
It’s a drop in the ocean compared with the $220 million in drug money that police believe Qin and associates washed per year, largely through Richmond casinos.
Qin was one-half of the crooked currency exchange Silver International. Silver was the subject of the biggest money-laundering prosecution in Canada’s history, which collapsed in confusion in November 2018.
Hail of Bullets
The other half was her husband, Jian Jun Zhu, sometimes rendered as Jain Jun Zhu. He died in a hail of bullets in September 2020 as he dined at the Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in Garden City, Richmond.
A Vancouver man, Richard Charles Reed, was arrested last month and charged with his murder. But police said they believe others are involved in the crime, and the investigation is ongoing.
Drugs, Terrorism Links
Prosecutors alleged that Silver had ties to the drug trade in South America, the fentanyl factories of China’s Guangdong province, and to Middle Eastern criminal gangs with links to terrorist financing.
They said the company was a front for an underground bank. That’s where criminals could deposit hard currency and receive a payment into a Chinese bank account in return.
The dirty money was then lent to high rollers on gambling junkets from China, who would hit BC casinos with sports bags stuffed with $20 bills, prosecutors alleged. The casinos converted the cash into chips, which could then be reclaimed as “clean” currency.
The scale of money laundering at BC casinos has become a national scandal in Canada. Operators have been accused of turning a blind eye to large cash transactions in the pursuit of profits.
This turned the casino sector into a “laundromat for organized crime,” according to an independent report commissioned by the provincial government.
The case against Silver was botched by prosecution lawyers. They accidentally released the name of a key government informant, who had helped build the government’s case, during a routine evidence disclosure process to Silver’s lawyer.
A federal judge determined that to continue with the case would place the witness “at high risk of death.”
Qin has agreed to forfeit $1.14 million in cash, which was seized from Silver during police raids in 2015. Additionally, she will relinquish $17,800 in River Rock Casino chips, also seized in the swoop, as well as gift cards and personal property, including jewelry.
The province will also keep 45 percent, or $192,725, from the sale of a home that had been owned by Qin in Vancouver.