Saturday, December 3, 2022

RCMP: casino money laundering probe uncovered Chinese 'terrorist financing' links [2017]

RCMP: casino money laundering probe uncovered Chinese 'terrorist financing' links

“You can’t just go to a South American cartel and say you want to buy a bunch of cocaine, but for fentanyl it’s different,” said RCMP Supt. Yves Goupil.
All it takes is five grams of fentanyl to make a pile of cash, he said.
“You could buy, tonight, five grams of fentanyl. So anyone, basically, it’s open to anyone. There’s no need to meet face-to-face. There’s a lot of anonymity.”

WATCH: How profitable is fentanyl?

Almost all of Canada’s fentanyl traces to factories in southern China, where it is plentiful, dirt cheap and compact enough to ship by mail.

Once here, it is either sold in pill form or, unbeknownst to users, added to street drugs like heroin to increase traffickers’ profits — even as it greatly raises the overdose risk.

WATCH: How organized crime groups launder suspected drug money in B.C. real estate
“This epidemic of deaths is caused by murderers who are adding toxic chemicals to the drugs that ordinary people are taking,” said Evelyn Pollock, whose 43-year-old son overdosed in Orillia Sept. 15, 2017.
With overdose deaths mounting, Canadian police are growing frustrated at the lacklustre response of Chinese authorities, whom they allege are making their cooperation conditional on unrelated diplomatic and foreign policy objectives.
Based on extensive interviews with police, victims, health care workers, as well as documents and court records, Fentanyl: Making a Killing reveals the drug underworld that is profiting from the misery of Canada’s fentanyl crisis.
The stately $17-million mansion owned by a suspected fentanyl importer is at the end of a gated driveway on one of the priciest streets in Shaughnessy, Vancouver’s most exclusive neighbourhood.
A block away is a $22-million gabled manor that police have linked to a high-stakes gambler and property developer with suspected ties to the Chinese police services.
Both mansions appear on a list of more than $1-billion worth of Vancouver-area property transactions in 2016 that a confidential police intelligence study has linked to Chinese organized crime.
The study of more than 1,200 luxury real estate purchases in B.C.’s Lower Mainland in 2016 found that more than 10 per cent were tied to buyers with criminal records. And 95 per cent of those transactions were believed by police intelligence to be linked to Chinese crime networks.
The study findings, obtained by Global News, are a startling look at what police believe to be the massive money laundering occurring in the Vancouver-area real estate market.
WATCH: How organized crime groups launder suspected drug money in B.C. real estate
They are also an indication of how — according to police intelligence sources — Canada’s narcos are hiding the huge amounts of cash they are amassing from the fentanyl crisis, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Canadians last year.
“You know that Netflix show Ozark, about laundering drug cartel money?” said an expert, who could not be identified because of ongoing investigations in B.C. “I always think that if those characters came up to Vancouver, they could launder all their cash in just one day.”
While the study only looked at property purchases in 2016, an analysis by Global News suggests the same extended crime network may have laundered about $5-billion in Vancouver-area homes since 2012.
At the centre of the money laundering ring is a powerful China-based gang called the Big Circle Boys. Its top level “kingpins” are the international drug traffickers who are profiting most from Canada’s deadly fentanyl crisis.
The crime network, according to police intelligence sources, is a fluid coalition of hundreds of wealthy criminals in Metro Vancouver, including gangsters, industrialists, financial fugitives and corrupt officials from China.
WATCH: Police investigation links dirty cash to luxury real estate. John Hua reports.
They are involved in drug import and production schemes, casino money laundering, real estate money laundering, prostitution, and financial crimes, the sources said.
The common link among them is an underground banking scheme in which Chinese VIP gamblers and gangster associates secretly transfer money between China and Richmond, B.C., in order to fund fentanyl imports and trafficking in Canada.
B.C. Lottery casinos are an important conduit in the underground transactions. But the money laundered through gambling is miniscule compared to the sums flowing through real estate.
WATCH: How does fentanyl get into Canada? Global News reveals the nefarious route the opioid takes.
One expert said Canadians would be stunned to learn how many of Vancouver’s homes have been built on drug money since the 1990s, when heroin from Hong Kong and China started flooding into Vancouver and Toronto.
The police intelligence study, completed this year, examined real estate purchases valued between $3 million and $35 million. The researchers suspected significant money laundering in the $1- to $3-million range — including suspicious condo flipping transactions — but didn’t have the time or resources to study the over 20,000 transactions.
Against the sample of about 1,200 high-end sales in 2016, researchers cross-referenced property documents with databases of criminal records and confidential police intelligence regarding ongoing investigations and networks of suspected criminals.
Many of the suspected criminal homes in the sample cost more than $10 million. And in an indication of how drug cash can move land prices dramatically higher in some Vancouver neighbourhoods, property records show some of the suspected fentanyl kingpins paid well above recent sale prices for homes in the study.
A $22-million home in Shaughnessy was connected by police intelligence in the study to a Macau gambler who took out tens of millions in real estate loans from suspected organized crime lenders operating out of Metro Vancouver casinos, according to allegations in Lottery Corp. documents and legal filings.
WATCH: Minister won’t commit to laws, funding for police forces to combat money laundering in connection to fentanyl
Property documents indicate the alleged VIP bought the Shaughnessy home for just $7.5 million in 2011. But when a ring of private lenders attempted to enforce real estate loans, documents show, the home was sold in 2016 for an astounding $14-million price gain, at $22-million.
Since 2012, the alleged VIP has sold a number of Metro Vancouver homes worth about $50 million in total, property documents show. And the gambler has made 28 suspicious transactions in B.C. Lottery casinos, according to Lottery Corp. investigation documents.
But in 2018, 51-year-old Paul King Jin — a former Richmond massage parlour owner who, according to Lottery Corp. documents, is targeted by the RCMP in probes of suspected transnational drug trafficking — sued the Macau gambler for $8 million.
Jin claims in 2016 he discharged a mortgage on the $22-million home so the Macau gambler could sell the property and repay creditors. But Jin hasn’t been paid, he claims, because other lenders rank above him.
The home is no longer owned by suspects named in the police intelligence study.
WATCH: A look at exactly how profitable the opioid is for criminals in Canada.
Jin’s filings said the Macau gambler described himself as “a man of great wealth” involved in real estate development in Canada and China. But in a legal response, the gambler’s lawyer said he had already sold three homes and paid $35 million to a group of “private lenders.” And these lenders took advantage of the gambler’s addiction with loans that “may at worst be criminal,” the Macau gambler claimed.
The gambler has returned to Macau, legal filings say, and Global News has not been able to reach him for comment.
Jin has not responded to questions from Global News about police allegations. Some of Jin’s associates have been charged in a drug trafficking and money laundering investigation, but it is not known if Jin has been charged.
LISTEN: The study findings, obtained by Global News, are a startling look at what police believe to be the massive money laundering occurring in the Vancouver-area real estate market. David Eby joins Mike Smyth.
In another 2016 sale, a suspected fentanyl kingpin and casino loan shark bought a $3.6-million home in West Vancouver. And one alleged criminal bought two adjacent Vancouver homes, worth over $3 million each, on the same day.
Another alleged kingpin bought a $15-million Shaughnessy mansion in 2016, as well as a tear-down $3.5-million bungalow on a south Vancouver block that is zoned for condo building.
One of the 2016 study homes, a $17-million mansion in Shaughnessy, is owned by a Chinese industrialist and Vancouver real estate developer, documents show.
But according to police intelligence, the owner is allegedly involved in narcotics imports and exports. Property and lending documents show the owner’s family holds at least nine Vancouver-area homes worth over $60 million, in addition to assembling hundreds of acres of residential land in Metro Vancouver since 2014 and also proposing to develop a Vancouver luxury condo tower.
Global News has not been able to reach the Shaughnessy mansion owner for comment on police suspicions.
The owner is also tied through corporate records to an alleged illegal casino in Richmond that Lottery Corp. investigators believe is run by Big Circle Boys. And the owner’s family holds positions in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, corporate records from China indicate.
A few hundred metres away in central Shaughnessy, is yet another $17-million abode with alleged links to the Big Circle Boys.
This second mansion made Vancouver headlines in 2007, when its owner — a Big Circle Boys kingpin described as one of Canada’s top priority crime targets — was gunned down outside his front gates.
The mansion is now owned by a Richmond real estate agent, court records show. Police intelligence sources say the realtor is intimately related to a B.C. Lottery Corp. gambler and Metro Vancouver real estate developer who is accused in a $500-million corruption case in China. Global News could not reach the realtor for comment, and the alleged VIP gambler has denied financial corruption allegations reported in China.
Other study findings suggested criminals in China anonymously bought B.C. real estate with Bitcoin, the crypto-currency used by drug traffickers. One Beijing Craigslist advertisement offered an eight-bedroom mansion in the hills of Coquitlam for 1,075 bitcoins, the equivalent of $3.3 million.
The findings come amid Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis, in which middle-class families have been priced out of the city. Many of these properties were left empty, and bought on paper by the spouses and children of suspected criminals. Investigators were surprised that some convicted drug trafficking criminals didn’t even conceal their property purchases.
WATCH: Global News online journalist Sam Cooper shares details about his new investigative series looking at the link between fentanyl and organized crime operating in B.C. 
Even so, the RCMP just doesn’t have the resources to tackle so many suspected money laundering transactions in Vancouver, a source said.
Meanwhile, home prices in Vancouver have tripled since 2005.
Across the Lower Mainland, prices began to sky rocket in late 2012. Some analysts believe a flood of money from China in recent years forced Metro Vancouver home prices to disconnect from the region’s median household wage of $72,000, which ranks among the lowest for Canadian cities, and 50th in North America.
Urban planning expert Andy Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, said the real estate money laundering data “begins to explain what is happening in Vancouver.”
“This is financial fentanyl for our real estate,” Yan said. “You have found $1 billion. But it is probably magnified in the banking system, with all of the black money, gray money, and legitimate money cascading through local institutions, to make a toxic sausage. So this is a national security issue. And also a national financial issue.”
Government documents obtained by Global News show that the government believes that in 2012, loan sharks connected to gangs in China and associated Chinese VIP gamblers ramped up a flood of suspected drug cash transactions in Vancouver-area casinos.
There were $64-million worth of suspicious cash transactions in these casinos in 2012, $119 million in 2016, and $66 million in 2017. But suspicious cash transactions in B.C. Lottery casinos surged to $176 million in 2015 — including $136 million in $20 bills.
Meanwhile, in a mirror image of what is suspected to be a record year for B.C. casino money laundering, Lower Mainland home prices sky rocketed by over 30 per cent in 2015.
A fentanyl-trafficking investigation expert said Chinese crime methods for laundering cash in Vancouver real estate have followed a consistent pattern since the 1990s, when the current kingpins of fentanyl started to dominate Canada’s heroin markets.
“It has always been the same people involved, and unfortunately the longer they do it, the more legitimate they look,” the expert said. “What they do is buy these tear-downs, and they do renovations and build mansions. I know one case, (a Chinese heroin kingpin) laundered eight of these homes in Vancouver himself.”
At the same time, police and confidential sources in Vancouver have believed that for about 20 years the Big Circle Boys and associates used B.C. casinos, mostly in Richmond, for drug dealing.
They “liked to conduct money exchanges in casinos,” according to a record filed in B.C. Supreme Court.  “The drug trafficker could then have the casino as an explanation for the money, if stopped by the police.”
Police say that almost every drug seizure they now make in Vancouver turns up some form of synthetic opioid produced at factories in China. Cocaine is still the drug Vancouver police seize most. But one expert predicted that by the end of 2018, fentanyl would become the most common drug on Vancouver streets.
Neil Sagani / Global News
As the drug kingpins of Vancouver have raked in profits and the city’s real estate prices have surged, the fentanyl crisis has spread from its epicentre among addicts in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside to communities across the country, leaving behind a devastating body count.
“It’s a neat circle. Welfare-Wednesday spending ultimately enriches those fueling the affordability crisis,” one law enforcement source said. “And that creates the need for Welfare-Wednesday.”
Last year, nearly 4,000 Canadians died from an opioid-related overdose, according to figures from Health Canada, with the vast majority of deaths involving fentanyl.
Government figures released in September showed that more than 1,000 Canadians lost their lives to apparent opioid overdoses in the first three months of 2018 – or more than 11 people per day.
Senator Vernon White, a former police chief who has advocated for measures to block the fentanyl supply from China, called the deaths and the related housing affordability crisis among the greatest threats facing Canada.
“I have been in policing 33 years and I have never seen anything with the profitability that fentanyl has,” White said. “This is a security threat. If terrorists were killing 5-6,000 people per year, we would do something about it.”
A 2017 B.C. Supreme Court sentencing ruling stated that drug traffickers can turn one kilogram of heroin worth $70,000 — blended with $12,500 worth of fentanyl powder — into 100 kilograms of counterfeit heroin, worth about $7 million on the street.
But it is the blending of various drugs with fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine, that has caused fatal overdoses to surge, the ruling says.
And yet, about 10 years before fentanyl started to flood Vancouver, Canadian courts had already found that Big Circle Boys were the dominant Chinese crime syndicate in Canada causing opioid overdose deaths.
One convicted Toronto-based Big Circle Boys kingpin acknowledged that he was likely responsible for causing heroin drug overdose deaths in Vancouver and southern Ontario, a 2003 federal court ruling says. The man also admitted he sent massive drug cash proceeds back to China, to buy businesses, including a coal mine.
In October 2015, RCMP officers wearing tactical gear burst into luxury homes, an underground bank and two illegal casinos in Richmond, B.C.
At a hidden casino on Richmond’s No. 4 Road, they found 27 surveillance cameras. The place was abandoned but police saw something that concerned them.
On a wall calendar, a day had been circled. It was the execution date for the RCMP’s search warrant.
Before the end of October, a Chinese woman from Vaughan, Ont. bought a 13,000-square-foot mansion on a plot of Richmond farmland.
But she only owned the $4.9-million home on paper, according to allegations in a civil forfeiture case.
A new illegal casino was up and running within weeks, the allegations state. Looming behind the purchase of 8880 Sidaway Rd. — a palatial red and grey building guarded by black iron gates and ornamental golden lions — was an alleged network of narcos that police would eventually link to an 85-ton shipment of precursors for drugs including fentanyl.
Fentanyl killed so many Canadians last year that it caused the average life expectancy in B.C. to drop for the first time in decades. But for crime kingpins, it has become a source of such astonishing wealth that it has disrupted the Vancouver-area real estate market.
A Global News investigation has found that in British Columbia, where the crisis has hit hardest, investigators believe the fentanyl trade revolves around the Big Circle Boys, a powerful crime network directed from the Chinese mainland.
What makes them so robust, according to sources, is their ability to corrupt Chinese officials, which allows them to control chemical factories in southern China and get fentanyl through Chinese customs and to the West.
“There are so many players we identified in B.C. But this is all directed from inside China,” an international policing expert said. “At the very top they are insulated. It’s government officials.”
So who are the Big Circle Boys?

Drug money loop

It all began as a drug-trafficking investigation.
In early 2015, police secretly tracked a network of suspected loan sharks and Chinese high-rollers operating out of Richmond’s River Rock Casino, and discovered they had an international money-laundering investigation on their hands.
The primary target of the RCMP’s October 2015 raids, B.C. Lottery Corp. investigative documents allege, was 51-year-old Paul King Jin. Jin and several associates were connected to probable offences involving narcotics importation and trafficking, as well as operating illegal casinos and conspiring to launder money, according to allegations in B.C. Supreme Court filings.
WATCH: How organized crime groups launder suspected drug money in B.C. real estate
Jin has not responded to questions from Global News about the allegations. Several of Jin’s associates have been charged in the case, but it is not known whether Jin has been charged in ongoing investigations.
The B.C. Lottery Corp. first noticed Jin in 2012, documents show. He was banned for making 50 suspicious cash transactions in River Rock Casino from 2012 to 2014. According to RCMP investigators, police allege Jin recruited Chinese VIPs in Macau, and his gang met the VIPs in Richmond parking lots to give them hockey bags stuffed with cash.

Jin, who also made massive real estate loans to these same gamblers, acknowledged that once, in a Richmond coffee shop, he gave a $2.68-million cash loan to a Chinese developer. But the developer said the loan involved an illegal casino transaction, according to allegations in legal filings. Jin’s filings claim some of these cash loans were for Vancouver-area home construction.
Police suspected that Jin was lending high-rollers bags of cash from “transnational drug trafficking,” Lottery Corp. documents allege. In an underground banking scheme imported from Macau casinos, the VIPs used the cash to buy chips, mostly at River Rock, and paid back the “loans” in China with little or no interest, according to the documents.
WATCH: The criminals fuelling Canada’s fentanyl crisis
The alleged scheme is a win-win-win for the gangsters and the Chinese gamblers. The gamblers could evade China’s tight currency export controls, get their wealth offshore and invest in Canadian real estate, using B.C. casinos as the conduit to obscure drug cash paper trails.
And the transnational gangsters could wash drug sales in B.C. and transfer funds back to gang bank accounts in China to produce and export more fentanyl precursors, according to RCMP’s forensic banking investigations.
WATCH: A look at exactly how profitable the opioid is for criminals in Canada.
Experts on the Big Circle Boys say the gang is directed from inside China, and some connected Chinese officials and industrialists are VIP gamblers in Metro Vancouver. Police are investigating these suspected crime bosses. But they are seen as untouchable in China, and insulated from actual drug transactions in B.C., sources say.
But just underneath the untouchables, the sources say, are cells of kingpin entrepreneurs involved in many illegal schemes to wash and multiply drug cash.

Allegedly beat victims with metal bars

In December 2015, B.C. Lottery Corp. investigators linked an alleged illegal casino at 8880 Sidaway to the Big Circle Boys.
A B.C. civil forfeiture claim alleged the hidden owner was Lap San Peter Pang. Citing RCMP investigations, the claim alleged the property was an illegal casino that was an instrument of money laundering and violent crime, and among grand rooms where VIPs gambled, drank and danced, in other rooms extortion victims were kidnapped, stabbed, and held hostage at gunpoint. In June 2017, one victim arrived in Richmond hospital with a broken arm and nose, after being confined and beat with a metal bar by Pang and his associates, the claim alleges.
Lottery Corp. investigators were interested in real estate surrounding the casino, too. They found that a cluster of residential and commercial plots nearby, and valued at about $150 million, was connected to corruption suspects from China and notorious Big Circle Boys associates.
In his response to the claim, Pang denied all the allegations and any ownership of 8880 Sidaway. The property was sold in 2018 and the case continues. Pang’s response noted he had not been charged despite two separate investigations by the RCMP and anti-gang Combined Special Forces unit running from 2015 to 2017.
Pang has never been charged in Canada, according to public records. But he has been known to police in Vancouver since 1991 and is alleged to be associated with heroin shipments from Guangdong and the top heroin importers in Canada, according to confidential sources cited in B.C. Supreme Court filings.
In one case, officers followed Pang in his BMW to his Vancouver apartment as part of a weapons trafficking investigation. One of his associates, described as an international heroin kingpin, walked out of Pang’s apartment with a machine gun, police alleged. The man was convicted but Pang was not charged.
Corporate records show that Peter Pang was also tied to Paul King Jin and a man named Wei Qing Zhang. All three were listed as directors of Jin’s Richmond massage parlour, Water Club, among a number of directors from Guangdong.
The business was shut down in 2011 for Richmond bylaw infractions, according to investigation documents, and also linked to high-level drug-traffickers and suspected prostitution.

Red Guard Roots

The Big Circle Boys originated in China’s paramilitary Red Guards, and after clashing with China’s army in the late 1960s, members were sent to prison in southern China. But some gang members escaped and infiltrated Hong Kong, where they “turned their military prowess to crime,” according to Canadian court records. The gang now thrives among the unregulated factories and underground banks of Guangdong, and especially in the city Guangzhou, also known as Canton, and nicknamed the “Big Circle.”
They spread rapidly across Canadian cities in the 1990s, and confidential informants say Big Circle Boys are trusted bonding agents among many actors in fluid networks of Asian drug-trafficking.

Filings in Canadian legal cases explain how the network operates, and its connection to elites in China. In one refugee claim case, a factory owner that fled to Canada claimed he was chased from his home country after he reported that a neighbouring factory was producing ecstasy.
The man said that after reporting his allegations to police in Guangdong, he was attacked by gangsters, and learned the drug factory was run by Big Circle Boys with links to Chinese government, military and police officials.

In another B.C. Supreme Court case naming Big Circle Boys and kingpins allegedly associated to Peter Lap San Pang, a confidential informant told Vancouver police the top heroin importer to Canada “was well established in China among high ranking police and government officials … and untouchable in China.”


In 2016, when RCMP continued with major surveillance operations targeting crime cells active in Richmond casinos and suspected drug labs, police intelligence alleged a network of Jin, Pang, and a Burnaby man named Ge “Gary” Wang, were linked to a B.C. entrepreneur who owned a Richmond chemistry business. Ge Wang has denied all allegations in court filings.
Within any major drug importation scheme, police intelligence sources said, there are kingpins, violent operatives, and financial facilitators, as well as underworld entrepreneurs known as super-facilitators.

From a Facebook profile advertising Douglas Pare’s charitable work in Vancouver, the 40-year-old from Windsor appears to be the sort of youthful millionaire who could be running a technology start-up in San Francisco or Seattle.
But his businesses and partners raise questions.
After arriving in Vancouver, Pare launched Esoteric Communications, a cellular encryption technology start-up. Pare’s equal partners in Esoteric were Craig Widdifield and Jeff Chang, according to corporate records. Both were well-known drug-traffickers, anti-gang police in B.C. say.

Widdifield was shot and killed in a Surrey gang hit in 2013. And Chang, who police say came from an Asian organized crime family in Burnaby, survived a targeted shooting in Vancouver in 2014, before dying of an unintentional drug overdose in 2015.
It was Pare’s Richmond chemical company, Quest Research Canada, that police linked to the investigation of suspects active at River Rock Casino and 8880 Sidaway, a source said.
A civil forfeiture claim says Pare rented space for Quest and also a shipping container on Mitchell Island, which is a small port on the Fraser River, in Richmond.
Citing RCMP investigations, the claim alleges that since 2014, Pare and Quest have imported 85 tons of chemicals and precursors used in the production of fentanyl, methamphetamine, LSD and ecstasy.
While the RCMP would not comment on the case, it could be the largest chemical seizure related to fentanyl production in Canadian history.
“That’s a massive amount, it’s almost indescribable,” Simon Fraser University criminologist Rob Gordon said. “That is like small mountains of chemical piles, in truck-loads.”
Pare allegedly concealed chemicals for fentanyl and methamphetamine production in these locations, and used his Porsche Boxster 718 and Mercedes ML350 to exchange the chemicals in meetings with alleged drug-trafficking associates.
These associates were followed by police to Richmond drug labs, the claim alleges. Ge “Gary” Wang was one of the associates identified delivering pails to suspected Richmond drug labs, according to source information and a separate civil forfeiture claim.

‘They just walked away from this cash like it was nothing’

As investigations into Douglas Pare and Wang progressed, simultaneously at locations minutes away from Mitchell Island, a Vancouver police drug-trafficking investigation focused on 58-year-old Wei Zhang, an alleged associate of Jin.
Zhang came to Canada in 1992 and became a permanent resident in 2003 despite a criminal record that included a weapons offence, an Immigration and Refugee Board case shows.
His long list of criminal charges winds through many of the rackets the Big Circle Boys and their associates have cornered in Canada.
Zhang has been charged with breaching ban orders related to Lottery Corp. casinos in Richmond, Vancouver and Coquitlam, and he was fined $196,000 for illegal cigarette sales, among a number of assault convictions, court records show.
In May 2016, Vancouver police connected Wei Zhang and three Chinese suspects to drug and cash houses located in condo towers on the Vancouver border of the Fraser River, beside Mitchell Island, according to allegations in a civil forfeiture proceeding. The documents say police followed the suspects to parking lots across Metro Vancouver, where they appeared to make drug deals.
Douglas Pare’s chemical company, Quest Research Canada, linked to police drug trafficking investigation.
Police say they followed Wei Zhang  a Marine Drive condo tower to a nearby Tim Hortons parking lot in Richmond, where they watched him pull a suitcase stuffed with $513,000 from the trunk of his White Range Rover and roll the suitcase toward two suspects who pulled up in a black Mercedes.
Wei Zhang placed the suitcase in the trunk of the Mercedes and police moved in, according to court documents.
In seizure operations that included the vehicles, Vancouver condo units, and multiple tote bags, police say they found a total of $660,000, two money counters, electronic tokens for offshore bank accounts, a Chinese passport and drug dealing gear.
Lab tests found that some of the cash seized contained concentrations of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. Zhang has not been charged in the Vancouver investigation and he could not be reached for comment.               
“They just walked away from this cash like it was nothing,” said a source, who described the suspects as fentanyl kingpins.
“They said, ‘Okay, we’ll just take our golf clubs.’”
Zhang is also allegedly a big player in Chinese community real estate lending schemes, legal filings show.
A cross-referencing of confidential B.C. Lottery Corp. documents, land title, real estate and civil court records, shows that Wei Zhang, Paul Jin, and several alleged fentanyl kingpins have used B.C. courts to enforce many millions in real estate loans. The loans were allegedly made to a network of VIP gamblers, and a suspected Big Circle Boys associate connected to 8880 Sidaway.
WATCH: Global News online journalist Sam Cooper shares details about his new investigative series looking at the link between fentanyl and organized crime operating in B.C. 
Confidential documents obtained by Global News show that dozens of these VIPs were connected by Lottery Corp. investigators to alleged massive cash and casino chip loans from Paul Jin and his many suspected loan shark employees, mostly servicing River Rock casino high-rollers. This same alleged network of Jin-associated VIPs completed hundreds of suspicious cash transactions inside B.C. Lottery casinos, documents show.
Some of these VIPs, who claim to be oil, mining and industrial magnates, are also involved in major land assembly developments and crowd-funding schemes in Metro Vancouver, lending documents show.

Mitchell Island bust

Several months after Vancouver police seized Wei Zhang’s cash, the RCMP moved in on Douglas Pare, Ge “Gary” Wang and drug labs in Richmond and Burnaby.
On Nov. 23 2016, police executed a search warrant at Quest’s Mitchell Island office. Police say they found a secret compartment containing a large amount of iodine, according to allegations in a civil forfeiture case, which police said is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Case documents allege that Pare was arrested for production of a controlled substance and laundering the proceeds of crime, and two Richmond drug labs were searched and shut down. Pare has not responded to repeated requests for comments. He denies all allegations in the civil forfeiture claim, and it’s not known if he’s ever been charged.
On Nov. 25, 2016, officers stopped Ge Wang as he loaded buckets into his Nissan Pathfinder. They arrested him and searched the vehicle, seizing a number of drums containing NPP, a fentanyl precursor produced in China, according to allegations in the civil forfeiture claim.
The claim doesn’t specify exactly how much NPP was seized, and RCMP search warrants regarding Wang and Pare have been sealed by the court. But according to an unrelated seizure case in Massachusetts, several containers of NPP weighing 50 kilograms could produce 19 million fentanyl pills worth US$570-million on the street.
Two months later, police raided Wang’s residence in Burnaby and found at least 82 kilograms of chemicals, according to the allegations in the court documents.
The documents allege that police seized containers with unknown chemicals, lab equipment and two drums containing 57 kilograms of phosphoric acid, which is a precursor in methamphetamine production.
Police say they also confiscated a 25-kilogram drum of potassium iodide, a compound related to iodine (the same substance allegedly seized from Pare’s secret storage unit in Richmond) — as well as gun licenses. 
In related investigations, police alleged that in early 2017 Ge Wang had obtained many weapons from a Richmond hunting store. And as police continued to probe Richmond drug labs, Wang was caught delivering seven of the guns to high-level members of the Red Scorpions, a violent Metro Vancouver opioid dial-a-dope gang, according to allegations in a civil forfeiture claim and police reports. In a legal response, Wang denied any wrongdoing.
The Richmond gun shop owner is an associate of Paul King Jin and a network of River Rock VIP gamblers, according to sources. Through numbered companies, since 2016 the Richmond gun shop owner has been involved in about $34-million worth of land assembly deals, including buying farmland in Richmond, and a block of single family homes in Coquitlam, according to land title and corporate documents.
Ge “Gary” Wang did not respond to questions from Global News. But he has previously denied any connections to fentanyl and weapons trafficking, and claims that he is just a delivery man for hire, who police have wrongfully linked to Paul King Jin.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

'high end illegal casino' - Dirty Cops torpedo bust

Charges have been withdrawn against the main figure in the case, Wei Wei. His lawyers say dirty cops planted evidence and stole watches worth hundreds of thousands from his bedroom.
The 'Mackenzie No. 5 Club' is owned by Toronto real estate developer Wei Wei. Wei met at least twice in 2016 with Trudeau, including at a controversial Liberal fundraiser. Wei was also among a delegation representing a Chinese government endorsed group that met separately with Trudeau. A member of that delegation donated $1m to the Trudeau Foundation. Wei and his wife, Xing Yue Chen, bought the property in 2015 for $4.7m.
Wei came to Canada a decade ago under the investor-immigrant program. A person named Wei Wei owns 50 properties around Toronto.
29 have been charged with a combined 74 criminal offences.A 20,000 square foot mansion, more than $1m and 11 firearms were seized as cops in York dismantled an illegal casino and spa. Project End Game was initiated after police received information on underground casinos operating in Markham. On July 23, 32 people were arrested at a $9m mansion that was being operated as a “high-end illegal casino.” 
The mansion was restrained by cops and 11 firearms, $1m, $1.5m in alcohol, and gaming machines and tables were seized.
The property offered high roller gamblers accommodation, spa treatments, beverage services, sex, and high-end food, including contraband items such as braised shark fin.

The Independent Police Review Director will investigate what went on with York Regional Police's "Project Endgame."

The mansion is now for sale with a price of $9,980,000.

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