The kingpins behind the illegal British Columbia business that allegedly managed to launder around CA$220 million a year was targeted by the British Columbia Civil Forfeiture Office in December 2018. Now Caixuan Qin and her partner Jian Ju Zhu state that this action should be considered unconstitutional, as the RCMP failed to take into consideration their Charter rights over the span of the E-Pirate probe.
Past several months have been heated for the region, as the money-laundering ring involving Asian individuals supposedly washing copious amounts of cash was discovered. The Silver International and Style Travel agency based in Richmond supposedly acted as their front business that covered the actual activity taking place. This was discovered following raids of the RMCP shedding light on the illegal business that has been conducted.
Alleged Richmond Money-Laundering Business Raided
However, the two individuals now claim that the authorities violated their basic rights of life, liberty, and security of a person with their raids seeking evidence and confiscating essential for the investigation objects. These raids were able to bag substantial amount of cash reaching thousands of dollars in East Asian currencies, as well as River Rock Casino chips amounting to some CA$17,800. They covered both the office of the travel agency and the couple’s home.
In addition to cash and casino chips, the police located around CA$10,000 in gift cards that could be later used for various payments. Pieces of jewelry were also found in their home and according to the police officers, the illegal money-laundering ring could have facilitated their purchase. Money counters further aiding work of the criminal scheme were also seized during the raid together with computers. The authorities are also after the CA $2.3-million house in Vancouver.
RCMP has the main objective to learn more about the couple and get to the bottom of the investigation, finding out as much as possible about the kingpins and the business they have been running. Driven by this incentive, the authorities also went on to inspect their safety deposit boxes at Royal Bank and the Bank of China. Back in December, the couple made it clear that it demands to receive back cash obtained, as well as other objects, but the RCMP refused to do so, as the probe is still in progress.
Couple Claims They Are Innocent
Even though the court case tumbled down supposedly because the RCMP accidentally revealed the identity of one of the informants, the probe continues. The staying of charged came unexpectedly and for many weeks the RCMP and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada refused to provide an explanation as to why matters failed to reach court. The couple claims that they have the Charter right not to have their home and business subjected to an extensive search and seizure.
They also disagree with their earlier detention pointing out that they have no legal liability. With the help of their lawyers protecting their personal and business interest, they filed responses to the lawsuit. According to the filing, the civil forfeiture that took place earlier failed to state any legal basis on which it was happening. It could be recalled that allegations pointed out that the assets obtained during the extensive raids which cost surpasses CA$4 million could be considered a result of the illegal operation of the couple
What should be taken into account is that in order to pursue a file and take action, the civil forfeiture agency does not require a criminal conviction. For the time being all allegations remain up in the air and since November saw the crash of the E-Pirate probe, none of them have been ruled out.