Beaching the whales

Official charges have been laid by the Canadian Government against a company and two individuals suspected of running a money laundering scheme which enticed VIP gamblers from Macau to launder drug money through casinos in Canada

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada has pressed charges against a company believed to be involved in a money laundering scheme using drug deal money, Chinese VIP gamblers recruited in Macau and betting in casinos in the Canadian state of British Columbia (B.C.), the Canadian newspaper Vancouver Sun reported.
At the beginning of the month it was revealed that a large scale investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) federal organised crime unit and China’s national police service had revealed that criminal groups used a company based in the B.C. city of Richmond named Silver International Investments Ltd. as an illegal bank to wash drug money.
According to an RCMP investigator, the primary target for the Canadian authorities was a man involved in ‘generating whales’ or ‘high-rollers’ going to Macau to identify rich Chinese men and attract them to Canada to gamble, using Silver International as a bank account.
Sometimes, the money would even be provided as ‘hockey bags full of cash’, according to the report, with the VIP gamblers using the scheme to circumvent China’s strict capital outflow laws, the report indicated.
Canadian investigators believe the Chinese VIP gamblers would then buy betting chips with live cash in C$20 (US$16/MOP128) bills, mostly at a local casino named Richmond’s River Rock Casino, and later cash out with C$100 bills considered ‘more suitable’ for investment in B.C.
The gamblers would then pay back the money via transfer to underground bank accounts in Mainland China.
The money laundering operation is said to have handled up to C$1.5 million a day, with Canadian authorities seizing more than C$500 million during the police operation.
The Canadian Public Prosecutor has now officially pressed charges against Silver International, its Director, Caixuan Qin, and a man named Jian Jun Zhu, with the company and both suspects facing five counts, including laundering the proceeds of a crime, possession of property obtained by crime, and failing to ascertain the identity of a client.