Friday, March 11, 2016

Death was her destiny, say cops

Death was her destiny, say cops

 

"It was only a matter of time," said Asian organized-crime investigators who spoke to The Province about the woman found shot dead inside a Mercedes-Benz at a Richmond industrial complex yesterday.

 

All who knew her came to the same conclusion.
"It was only a matter of time," said Asian organized-crime investigators who spoke to The Province about the woman found shot dead inside a Mercedes-Benz at a Richmond industrial complex yesterday.
Her name was Betty Yan, a.k.a. Betty "the Loan Shark" Yan, a.k.a. "Big Sister" Betty, a.k.a. Betty Tung Sze Yan.
She was the mother of a seven-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl.
On paper, she was married to Chek Wai Kuan -- one of those who carries the moniker "known to police."
Born in Guangdong, China, on Nov. 7, 1969, she slipped into Canada as a refugee via Bangkok, Thailand, sometime in the late 1980s and was quickly on the radar of Asian organized-crime investigators as she played her "guanxi" -- the Chinese word for connections -- to entrench herself in B.C.'s Chinese underworld.
Claiming that her dad was an officer with China's Public Security Bureau, Yan also ingratiated herself with Canadian police officers, offering inside information on triads. She was handled out of Richmond RCMP.
Police sources said she was ordered deported in 2000, at which time she "confessed" to being a spy for the Chinese government and offered to exchange intelligence if she was allowed to stay in Canada.
"Betty was a player with the gangs, with us and some think with the Chinese intelligence," said an RCMP criminal-intelligence analyst.
Violence followed her everywhere. Gangsters and fugitives were always close by.
"She was a violent woman who has been seen using her kids as human shields when she felt there was a hit on her," said a gang-squad officer. "The list of people who had motives for wanting her dead is long and large."
Cpl. Dale Carr, spokesman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said police were called at about 4:20 a.m. yesterday to the 2500-block Shell Road in Richmond after being notified by 911 dispatch. They found find Yan dead in the driver's seat of the grey Mercedes.
The car was parked in front of unit 3028, which appeared to be either for sale or lease.
Several yellow and red posters with the Chinese characters "Dynasty Club" were on the windows next door, at unit 3033. The business is listed in the telephone directory as that of the Canadian Chinese Chess Society. Yan's husband is director of the society.
Yan was heavily involved in the society, as well as with a company called Canadian Monetary Consultant Corp., which has ties to her native land.
According to police intelligence files, the Richmond resident, who once claimed to be a spy for China's Ministry of State Security, was present when a loan shark nicknamed "Pretty Boy" Meng was gunned down in a Richmond restaurant in 1988.
She was also in the house when underworld figure Tommy Wong, 43, was shot to death during a home invasion in Richmond on Sept. 15, 2002.
During a double murder at a restaurant on Renfrew Street, she was playing mahjong with the wife of one of the targets.
She was also a known associate of Vancouver-based loan shark Kwok Chung Tam, who had his picture taken with former premier Glen Clark. The picture was found when police raided his Burnaby home and seized a pair of semi-automatic handguns, ammunition, a silencer, a half-pound of raw opium and almost $80,000.
Yan was one of the first people in Canada to hook up with China's most wanted man, Lai Changxing, who has for the past decade been fighting to stay in Vancouver.
Lai Changxing fled to Vancouver in 1999 after he was accused of running a multibillion-dollar smuggling racket in Fujian. About 15 people have been executed in China in connection with the case, while he continues his extradition battle in B.C.
Shortly after his arrival here and while living in a million-dollar mansion on West 57th Avenue in Vancouver with his wife and three kids, his Range Rover was stopped by Vancouver police for a check.
Yan was in the car and claimed to be his wife, according to an incident report.
China was by that time sending its agents covertly into Canada to try to persuade Lai to return.
Yan was their go-between. She met the agents at Vancouver International Airport and drove them to a hotel in Richmond for negotiations, while under police surveillance.
The Chinese secret agents used fake visas and invitation letters provided by two B.C. companies, Tricell (Canada) Inc. and Top Glory Enterprises Ltd., both incorporated in the late 1980s to work for the Communist government of China.
B.C. Lottery Corp. internal documents state Lai hooked up with Yan and others dubbed Black Ghost Ming and Stupid Ricky while making criminal connections with violent members of the Chinese mafia groups -- the Kung Lok triad in Toronto and the Dai Huen Jai (Big Circle Boys) in Vancouver.
In a conversation with The Province five years ago, Lai admitted that he knew Yan but described her as a "crook and traitor."
Not long afterward, posters were plastered around Richmond and Burnaby showing Yan with a man identified as Raymond and claiming that they were responsible for the murder of Tommy Wong in Richmond on Sept. 15, 2002.
Lai said he knew of the poster but did not know who was behind it.
At about that time, Yan offered to help the RCMP and Immigration Canada get Lai out of the country in exchange for landed status.
In February 2004, Vancouver police charged Yan with extortion and threatening.
She was released on a peace bond after a woman accused her of loan-sharking.
At the time, Vancouver police Const. Sarah Bloor said police believed there were "up to a dozen other victims."
Yan's police file states that, despite a casino ban, she had been seen at Metro Vancouver casino parking lots in her Mercedes.
Vancouver police described her operation as a ruthless, violent loan-sharking operation taking everything from citizenship cards to furniture as collateral.
Yan was the 33rd homicide of 2009 in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley this year. Twenty are being investigated by IHIT and 13 by Vancouver police. -- with a file from Lena Sin.