Industry Reports

Alleged B.C. Money-Laundering Kingpins Claim Civil Forfeiture Office Misled Court

Money laundering investigations across British Columbia have revealed the several key companies and individuals that have allegedly been a vital part of the scheme. Phil Tawtel, Executive Director of the Civil Forfeiture Office, recently pointed out it acted according to the official procedure before a civil forfeiture launched against Silver International, the supposed money laundering hub probes by the E-Pirate investigation.

Civil forfeiture is allowed to take place three years after the office has received information about an illegal practice or the start of a probe into the operation of a company or organization. Such was the case with the notorious Silver International and its Director Caixuan Qin and her spouse Jian Jun Zhu. Back in November 2015, the E-Pirate probe managed to locate CA$2 million in cash, potentially part of its illegal operation in Richmond.

Richmond Money Laundering Ring Raises Questions

The probe bagged thousands of dollars in East Asian currencies, as well as River Rock Casino chips amounting to some CA$17,800 both in the office and the couple’s home. In addition to that, the Mounties were also able to locate and seize a CA$1 million delivery that was on its way to Silver International’s office.

Matthew Nathanson, one of the lawyers protecting the interest of Silver International recently made a point that the CFO did not do a thing after receiving the information following the raids, but waited until 2018 to make a move. Concerns were that the company is being used as a laundromat for washing dirty cash also related to the local gambling scene in Richmond and River Rock Casino. It was not until RCMP sent a referral that the CFO filed a suit demanding the CA $2.3-million family house in Vancouver.

This happened on December 3, 2018, and shortly after that, the CFO announced it is now after the house that is supposedly purchased amid the travel agency’s money-laundering activity and illegal operation. The British Columbia Supreme Court froze the assets belonging to the couple. Soon after that, the couple issued a statement saying that such actions in addition to the earlier raids violate their human rights and are unconstitutional.

Second Civil Forfeiture Targets Loan Shark

Back then, they demanded that all actions against their property and assets come to an end, but this month they introduced a new filing related to the subject. With claims going along the lines of their right to be spared unreasonable investigation and raids including the seizure of assets, the couple made it clear it is concerned for its safety and wellbeing.

The supposed kingpins behind the money laundering scheme claimed that Mr. Tawtel and the CFO provided misleading information referring to the timeline of the civil forfeiture and its filing. The said three-year window of time concerns them and creates the opportunity for speculation. May 1 is eyed as the day when this filing is going to be thoroughly reviewed by Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in Vancouver.

It should also be taken into account that the Civil Forfeiture Office is now after Paul King Jin’s purchases allegedly obtained while he was loaning cash to casino players across the province. Some CA$4.86 million in cash were listed in the filing, as reports have previously shown that the loan shark was able to provide its customers with loans reaching a total of CA$4.2 million over the span of a single year despite his ban from entering River Rock Casino.