Casino money-laundering case in BC is fizzling
A company at the heart of a supposed money-laundering operation in British Columbia (BC) may have just avoided a major fiasco. The company, Silver International, and two of its operators were charged last year with laundering money from organized crime through casinos in the province, but the case has now been stayed by the courts. The trial was expected to get underway this coming January.
The activity was allegedly orchestrated by Paul King Kin, a local spa owner and junket operator. He was placed under surveillance, which led investigators to look closer at Silver International. They ultimately determined that the company was operating as a cash house where criminals could deliver large amounts of dirty money in exchange for clean deposits in their Chinese bank accounts. However, Jin was never arrested.
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada stayed the case in a decision that was “consistent with a service policy of staying charges if there is no reasonable prospect of conviction based on evidence likely to be available at trial and a conclusion that a prosecution would not serve the public interest.” The two main defendants, Caixuan Qin and Jain Jun Zhu, were part of Silver International, but the prosecutor's office apparently felt that it wouldn't be able to make the charges stick.
According to BC Attorney General David Eby, the move was a shock. He said during a news conference, “I was incredibly disappointed — as I imagine are many British Columbians. It is a disturbing signal that a prosecution of this magnitude collapses shortly before going to trial. I want to be clear that I am not blaming the police, not blaming the federal prosecutors, I am not blaming the federal government. But I think we need to know what went wrong — because something obviously went terribly wrong.”