Home / World Breaking News / Alleged ‘heavyweight’ gangster could be poster child for B.C.’s public inquiry into money laundering

Alleged ‘heavyweight’ gangster could be poster child for B.C.’s public inquiry into money laundering

Kwok Chung Tam is a person with many identities and strong connections — an alleged kingpin of a Chinese language crime cartel so dominant in Canada that police as soon as mentioned it might set the cost of heroin at the streets of North The us.

In line with allegations made by way of Canadian cops between 1991 and 2014, Tam is a heroin importer, a chemical drug lab operator and a “recognized mortgage shark” with a historical past of violence.

He’s additionally been preventing deportation for over 25 years. And in line with fresh court docket filings, Tam is assumed to be dwelling in a luxurious Richmond, B.C. condominium.


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How Chinese gangs are laundering drug money through Vancouver real estate

He additionally has alleged ties to B.C.’s on line casino business and to the province’s multibillion-dollar actual property money-laundering downside.

If true, those claims counsel Tam may well be probably the most architects of the so-called “Vancouver Type” of transnational arranged crime.


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And now that B.C.’s executive has determined to release a public inquiry into the province’s money-laundering scandal, the allegations in opposition to Tam and questions on his connections may illustrate how the Vancouver-area actual property marketplace can have been exploited by way of Chinese language arranged crime.

In 2018, a World Information investigation published secret police learn about connected greater than $1 billion price of top-end Vancouver-area assets transactions in 2016 to suspected cash laundering and arranged crime, whilst an unbiased assessment launched closing week by way of B.C.’s executive estimated $five billion was once laundered during the province’s actual property closing yr by myself.

Brazen ‘mortgage shark’ applies to stick in Canada

World Information has got hundreds of pages of federal court docket data ready by way of Tam’s legal professional — Vancouver-based immigration legal professional Peter Larlee — and the federal government that have been submitted as a part of an effort to stay Tam in Canada.

The data, which come with volumes of immigration and regulation enforcement information stretching again to 1988, define just about 3 many years of alleged criminality and Tam’s alleged connections to arranged crime.

Lots of the data — together with the ones about Tam’s alleged connection to the Large Circle Boys — have by no means been examined in court docket.

WATCH: Timeline of cash laundering in B.C. casinos




alleged heavyweight gangster could be poster child for b c s public inquiry into money laundering - Alleged ‘heavyweight’ gangster could be poster child for B.C.’s public inquiry into money laundering


“Mr. Tam has prompt us to warning you referring to allegations of participation in arranged crime and, particularly, gang club,” a commentary from Tam’s legal professional to World Information mentioned. “Mr. Tam denies such participation or club. Those allegations have by no means been confirmed in court docket or at any immigration continuing.”

Nonetheless, the paperwork and allegations from a couple of ranges of regulation enforcement paint the image of Tam as a well-connected member of the China, Hong Kong and Macau-based crime syndicate — and the way the cartel has taken root in Vancouver.

“The Asian crime cartel was once so robust that police mentioned it might stockpile heroin and dictate the road value of the drug in North The us,” Tam’s investigative document with the Canada Border Services and products Company (CBSA) mentioned.

“Its contributors, who had connections to underground banks in Hong Kong and the poppy fields of Burma, don’t hesitate to do away with obstructions,” the file mentioned.

In 1991, Tam and a variety of refugee claimants from China have been arrested in a “large strike” by way of Vancouver police, in line with a file in Tam’s document, for alleged involvement in an armed, violent home-invasion and jewelry-store-robbery mobile that terrorized rich Chinese language-Canadian households.

Tam was once present in ownership of 10 stolen Rolex watches, however the case didn’t lead to fees, in line with CBSA paperwork.

Extortion and guns fees stemming from a 1998 loan-sharking grievance and raid on Tam’s Burnaby domestic have been stayed in 2002 as a result of undue court docket delays.

Recent photos of Kwok Chung Tam filed as part of a federal court review application

Fresh pictures of Kwok Chung Tam filed as a part of a federal court docket assessment utility

Federal court docket information

In 1999, Tam was once charged in Victoria with conspiracy to import and site visitors heroin in a case police mentioned had connections to Vancouver, Thailand, Hong Kong and Las Vegas.

Tam was once acquitted of those fees in 2002 — partially as a result of a pass judgement on discovered wiretap proof within the case was once inadmissible.


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Then, in 2006, data display an RCMP investigation focused a variety of alleged drug properties throughout B.C.’s Decrease Mainland. All the way through the raids, police declare they stumbled on an ecstasy lab in a Richmond domestic the place Tam lived with a variety of family members.

On this case, Tam was once discovered to blame in 2010 of unlawfully possessing marijuana for the aim of trafficking and ownership of narcotics. He was once passed a 15-month conditional sentence, which incorporated area arrest and a guns ban.

For his phase, Tam has denied any involvement with arranged crime. He additionally characterised his function with the marijuana grow-op as “minor and inactive.”

“Allegations of gang club are unsubstantiated and false,” Tam wrote in a testimony filed with the court docket in July 2016.

“I’m really not now nor have I ever been a member of a gang, triad or prison group,” he mentioned.

Assembly the premier

A prior World Information investigation confirmed that, in line with police, the Large Circle Boys now dominate the fatal industry of fentanyl importation and trafficking in Canada.

The newly-discovered CBSA information submitted as a part of Tam’s immigration case additionally counsel Tam and the Large Circle Boys can have been linked to a infamous on line casino licensing scandal in B.C. that concerned former B.C. premier Glen Clark.


READ MORE:
B.C. casino ‘knowingly accepted’ millions from banned loan shark, audit alleges

Those allegations have by no means been in the past disclosed, and Tam’s identify has no longer been discussed in public data associated with the case. However the CBSA paperwork counsel that Tam — an alleged “heavyweight” Large Circle Boy, in line with a 1998 CBSA file — was once someway linked to the questionable on line casino utility.

“One among them, a mortgage shark banned from B.C. casinos, was once additionally brazen sufficient to have his image concerned about the previous premier, Glen Clark, whilst looking for to open a on line casino,” the CBSA file alleged, relating to Tam. “Some of the 28 other folks arrested in reference to the crime cartel in 1999 was once a mortgage shark, Kwok Chung Tam.”

WATCH: Ex-B.C. on line casino employee blows whistle on timeline of alleged cash laundering




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Tam was once acquitted on all fees stemming from the 1999 arrest and had fees in a 1998 loan-sharking grievance stayed.

Clark, who stepped down in 1999 in the course of an RCMP investigation of the “Casinogate” scandal, was once acquitted of all fees in 2002.

Clark has reportedly denied any wrongdoing in Casinogate and likewise denied any nefarious connection to Tam. Clark reportedly mentioned that Tam was once simply one of the constituents that he had his image concerned about.

Tam allegedly linked to ‘drive-by capturing’

Any other shocking allegation within the CBSA information ties Tam to a on line casino gang struggle that spilled onto the streets of Vancouver in July 1997. This was once across the time that Macau gangs allegedly began to launder drug cash at new high-limit baccarat tables in B.C. casinos, in line with a World Information investigation.

“Kwok, police say, attempted to kill rival triad chief Tong Sang Lai in a drive-by capturing,” Tam’s CBSA document says.


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In some other e mail filed with the federal court docket, CBSA enforcement officer Cheryl Shapka mentioned she believed Tam was once in the back of the tried hit at the rival gang member.

“The attention-grabbing reality I discovered on this complete factor is that Tam is the person who allegedly attempted to do Lai, an everlasting resident I’m additionally running on,” she mentioned. “Tam is Large Circle Boys, as you recognize, Lai is the top of the Wo On Lok Triad out of Macau.”

Lai was once no longer killed within the assault. He was once, alternatively, deported in 2017.

In line with a file from the Canadian Press, Lai argued that corrupt police in Macau falsely labelled him as a triad chief.

WATCH: Had been B.C. on line casino team of workers linked to money-laundering suspects?




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However proof amassed right through a clandestine police investigation within the past due ’90s alleged differently.

Stories from the Vancouver Solar and the Canadian Press — which linked Lai to arranged crime in line with police wiretaps and immigration hearings — detailed a on line casino turf struggle in Macau that unfold to Vancouver. This incorporated proof of a $1-million contract put on Lai’s head.

Wiretaps have additionally been used to hyperlink Tam to arranged crime.

In 2009, because of an immigration listening to, Tam’s alleged affiliate Yi Feng Wu was once ordered deported as a result of his alleged association as a high-ranking member of the Large Circle Boys.

A CBSA officer who reviewed Wu’s document later used knowledge equipped right through the 2009 listening to to claim Tam “inadmissible” to Canada.

“RCMP St-Sgt. Hiller claimed that right through Challenge Version within the mid-90s, wiretap conversations indicated that Mr. Tam equipped heroin to Mr. Wu,” wrote the CBSA enforcement officer in line with his assessment of proof equipped right through Wu’s 2009 immigration listening to.

“Det. Fisher with the (Vancouver Police Division) mentioned that Mr. Tam is a recognized member of the Large Circle Boys … keen on uploading opium, mortgage sharking and heroin trafficking,” the CBSA file mentioned.

In line with the CBSA, the immigration officer additionally dominated that it was once “cheap” in line with the proof equipped to conclude that Wu — together with Tam — have been contributors of the Large Circle Boys.

Photo of Kwok Chung Tam’s allegedly fraudulent People’s Republic of China passport seized by Canadian law enforcement on Jan. 31, 2006.

Photograph of Kwok Chung Tam’s allegedly fraudulent Other folks’s Republic of China passport seized by way of Canadian regulation enforcement on Jan. 31, 2006.

Federal court docket information

Tam has denied those claims.

In a 2016 affidavit, Tam mentioned he was once by no means given a chance to reply to the CBSA’s file alleging he was once “inadmissible” in line with arranged crime.

Had he been given this opportunity, Tam claimed he “would have equipped proof to turn that this knowledge is improper.”

The RCMP, in the meantime, didn’t reply to questions on allegations contained in Tam’s document.

“The RCMP does no longer touch upon doable or ongoing investigations,” mentioned RCMP spokesperson Michelle Schmidt.

The CBSA additionally didn’t reply in time for e-newsletter.

Tam fights to stick in Canada

For just about so long as he’s lived in Canada, cops were looking to deport Tam.

He’s had no less than one failed refugee declare, two unfavorable everlasting residency selections and two deportation orders issued in opposition to him since coming to Canada greater than 3 many years in the past.

The primary of Tam’s deportation orders was once issued in October 1993, court docket data display. The latest, in line with his prison convictions, was once issued in June 2014.

WATCH: Cash laundering flowing via back-door channels in B.C. casinos




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All the way through this time, police had carried out raids on Tam’s properties, through which they declare to have discovered semi-automatic handguns and different guns, uncooked heroin, drug presses, “baggage” and “buckets” stuffed with money, plus different side road medicine price loads of hundreds of bucks.

Regardless of all this, Division of Justice attorneys, running on behalf of the immigration minister, struck two separate offers with Tam between June 2016 and November 2017.


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The primary of those offers gave Tam some other shot at changing into an everlasting resident in Canada after his 1998 utility to stick on “humanitarian and compassionate” grounds was once denied as a result of his prison previous.

The officer who denied his declare cited Tam’s 2010 prison convictions, plus his alleged involvement with arranged crime.

However in line with Tam’s legal professional, the federal government unfairly mentioned Tam’s alleged connections to arranged crime when denying his residency utility.

WATCH: Cash laundering investigation will return so far as wanted: Horgan




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Phrases of the second one deal are unknown. However like the primary, it concerned a agreement between Tam and the federal government in an utility to check a unfavorable immigration resolution.

The place of work of Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen did remark at the allegations contained within the federal court docket information.

The federal government additionally didn’t ascertain Tam’s present standing in Canada.


READ MORE:
Former B.C. casino supervisor blows whistle on when Macau-style money laundering may have exploded

Mathieu Genest, a spokesperson for Hussen, did, alternatively, say the federal government is “dedicated to the security and safety of Canadians,” including that, for privateness causes, he can’t touch upon a particular case.

“Everlasting citizens who’re discovered to be inadmissible for severe criminal activity underneath Canada’s immigration regulations would possibly lose their standing and feature to depart the rustic upon of entirety of a sentence,” Genest mentioned.

Rich refugee to alleged gangster

Tam arrived in Vancouver as a rich refugee claimant in December 1988.

Courtroom data — which come with copies of Tam’s 1996 failed refugee resolution — display he despatched his then-wife, Chui Lin Yip, greater than $500,000 “in quite a lot of phases via a pal dwelling in Hong Kong” to a checking account in Vancouver earlier than coming to Canada.

Yip, who arrived in Vancouver with the couple’s one-year-old daughter and claimed refugee coverage 5 months earlier than Tam, additionally has a couple of prison convictions in Canada. In line with court docket information, those come with convictions for extortion and bank card fraud within the early 1990s, plus a to blame plea for the ownership of assets got via extortion in 2001.

The data additionally display Yip claimed she didn’t have a passport when getting into Canada.

However a next police raid of the couple’s domestic — carried out at the grounds that Yip was once suspected of “production false identity paperwork” — published she did have a passport, in line with the immigration respectable who denied Yip’s refugee declare.

WATCH: Had been B.C. on line casino team of workers linked to money-laundering suspects?




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As for his or her wealth, Tam claimed the cash he despatched Yip earlier than arriving in Canada was once earned by way of promoting his circle of relatives’s property in southern China, data display. This incorporated a hair salon, a pool corridor and a T-shirt manufacturing unit.

However as early as 1991, Canadian immigration officers have been acutely aware of Tam’s alleged “prison endeavours” and his rising actual property footprint in Vancouver.

“In Canada not up to 4 years as refugee claimant — owns following houses mortgage-free although he has no longer labored and declared no (private) wealth,” a citizen and immigration memo mentioned.

The report lists two properties in Vancouver and one in Burnaby, “Sunning Auto Gross sales” in Vancouver and “a lot of cars, together with a number of late-model BMWs/Mercedes.”


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Immigration information additionally display Tam was once focused for alleged “heroin importation/trafficking” as a part of the RCMP’s Challenge Chase within the early 1990s.

Tam was once “closely keen on alien smuggling, bank card fraud, unlawful playing and guns,” the file alleged.

Through 1998, Tam and Yip claimed to have greater than $2 million in property, in line with a letter from their legal professional.

Alleged mortgage sharking and auto gross sales

Tam, in his personal data, claimed that his possession all through the 1990s of Sunning Auto Gross sales in Vancouver made him a valid businessman, in part as a result of he hired Canadian citizens.

But it surely was once additionally a part of a casino-lending scheme involving mortgage sharking, actual property and shipments of B.C. cars to Hong Kong and China, in line with allegations contained within the federal data.

“Matter owns a automotive dealership, his vehicles have been equipped by way of extortion,” a CBSA enforcement officer alleged in an e mail. “He and his minions hang around at casinos and way fellow Chinese language who want $$$ for making a bet and provides them loans at mortgage shark charges … Then once they can’t pay … collects their vehicles and in a single case, the home. Used to be lately arrested for extortion.”

WATCH: World investigation raises extra money laundering considerations




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The e-mail refers to a 1998 raid of Tam’s Burnaby domestic that stemmed from a loan-sharking grievance.

Within the case, data allege, a 60-year-old girl borrowed $15,000 from Tam to gamble at an rate of interest of 10 in step with cent a week. She signed over her Mercedes as safety, and when she misplaced her bets and may no longer pay the cash again, the sharks seized her automotive.

However the girl was once nonetheless in debt so Yip, together with two different pals, attended her domestic and ordered her to pay again the “boss,” in line with the allegations.


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Immigration information additionally allege that certainly one of Tam’s subordinates “threatened to kill” the lady until she signed over her furnishings to Yip, which she did. A shifting truck was once then despatched to her domestic and “mountains” of Chinese language rosewood furnishings have been packed up, in line with the file.

It was once in connection to those allegations that Yip pleaded to blame in 2001 to ownership of assets got via extortion.

Police achieved a seek warrant on Yip and Tam’s domestic and claimed to have discovered over $200,000 in uncashed cheques written out to Tam from alleged extortion sufferers, together with Walther PPK and Ruger semi-automatic pistols, a silencer, a Taser and ammunition.

“Along with the stolen items and guns, a pound of uncooked heroin and caches used to stamp heroin on the market pointing out it was once 100 in step with cent natural” have been discovered and seized, in line with CBSA’s Shapka.

As past due as 2007, Shapka was once nonetheless probing Tam’s alleged connections to arranged crime.

“VPD discovered and seized an entire bunch of images taken of Tam, together with one the place Tam was once shaking (Glen) Clark’s hand in his place of work and one the place Tam was once shaking arms or status with the King of Thailand,” Shapka wrote in an e mail.

Shapka mentioned she had in my view observed the pictures, and “I do know a large number of folks noticed the pictures. Do you’ve got any concept what came about to them?”

© 2019 World Information, a department of Corus Leisure Inc.

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