Casino News

River Rock Casino’s Money Laundering Case Allegedly Linked to Drug Labs in Richmond

A drug investigation that began in Delta in December 2015 found out that Paul King Pao Jin, the man allegedly behind a sophisticated underground banking scheme used to launder drug cash at British Columbia casinos, collaborated with a group operating drug labs in Richmond. Ge Wang and Jin were allegedly working together to launder hundreds of millions in drug cash at B.C. casinos.

In September last year, the newly-elected British Columbia government publicized a suppressed casino report, indicating rampant money laundering at Lower Mainland casinos, and particularly at River Rock Casino in Richmond. The report found out that large volumes of unsourced cash were accepted at River Rock. The report claims that the majority of the high-rollers, who were buying-in with big wads of small bills, were Chinese nationals.

The 2016 report also pointed to VIP players using an “underground” banking system to deliver “large amounts of bundled $20 bills” to “known VIP players. Investigation documents reportedly claim that the alleged criminal network, that stretches from Richmond to Asia and Mexico was headed by Paul King Jin, a 50-year-old Richmond spa owner. The delivered suspected drug cash to the Macau whales, who gambled in B.C. legal casinos and illegal gaming houses.

Illicit Banking System Supported Illegal Gun Sales and Drug Trafficking

The whole case got even more sophisticated after the investigation found out that Jin’s underground banking system could be connected to Mexico and Peru. The police reports claim that Jin’s illicit banking network was used by drug dealers to buy narcotics without carrying cash outside Canada. In that way, the criminals could circumvent the law and avoid the attention of Canada’s financial watchdog.

An offshoot investigation into a group operating drug labs in Richmond, code-named Prophet (built on E-Pirate money-laundering investigation) found that the head of the underground banking channel was allegedly involved in a number of other offenses, including narcotics importation and trafficking, as well as operating illegal casinos, evading taxes and conspiring to launder money.

Wang was suspected of providing a fentanyl precursor chemical to third parties from several Richmond homes. In 2015, police officers found drug labs in the homes. In November 2016, police officers seized drums containing a fentanyl precursor chemical. A 2017 study titled “China’s Deadly Export to the U.S.” explains that fentanyl precursor NPP is not controlled by Chinese officials as it “is not widely used in China”. In a series of email responses to questions from Postmedia News, Wang explained that the police has no reasons to associate him with Jin and investigate him.

The investigation also found out that Wang might be allegedly involved in illegal gun sales. In February last year, the man was spotted to purchased seven firearms, placed the weapons in two blue plastic bags, and put them in his vehicle. Thus far, many of the allegations remain unproven.