Several Vancouver residents have been indicted and millions of dollars have been seized following a three-year investigation into an underground banking system that allegedly wiped out the illegal cash of Canada’s largest crime syndicate.
Mike Tucker of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team said the defendants — four from Vancouver and three from Calgary — were part of a family that ran “quasi-banks in Vancouver and Ontario.” .
“They seemed so unique in offering this kind of service that they ended up having many different affiliations with major drug trafficking groups in Vancouver and Ontario,” Tucker told the Post Media. rice field.
He did not identify a particular drug cartel, nor did he identify the Vancouver location of the underground bank.
The alleged head of the money laundering network is Van Duc Hoang, 64, of Vancouver, who has been charged with inducing others to commit crimes in an unnamed criminal organization and 11 other counts. increase.
Juan’s East Vancouver home and two other properties he owns here are part of a larger criminal investigation by ALERT and the RCMP’s Federal Serious Organized Crime Division, with some of the properties likely to be confiscated. One.
Hoang’s housemates Van Thi Nguyen, 62, and Vancouver residents Donald Hoang, 26, and Grace Tang, 25, also live in Calgary, Cynthia Nguyen, 42, and Yuong Nguyen, 43. years old), Lien Ha, 42 years old.
More than $16 million in bank accounts, real estate holdings and vehicles are being held by criminals, Tucker said.
The case, dubbed Project Collector, was linked to BC’s ill-fated E-Pirate investigation into Jian Jun Zhu and his wife, alleging that the drug cartel ran an underground bank called Silver International that laundered hundreds of dollars. similar. Millions of illegal cash. Zhu was shot dead in Richmond in 2020.
A suspected “collector” was arrested in September. Search warrants were executed in Calgary, Vancouver, Metro He Toronto.
“Investigators identified $24 million in cash transfers in just one year, but the group’s money laundering activity dates back to at least 2013,” Tucker said.
He said the investigation began in July 2018 after $1 million in cash destined for Vancouver was intercepted in Calgary. ALERT and his RCMP investigators then launched a large-scale investigation, relying heavily on information from the Canadian Center for Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis.
No underground bank branches have actually been found in Alberta.
“I think there was probably an Alberta element, but it wasn’t revealed during the course of the investigation,” Tucker said.
“Because Vancouver is a port of entry, it is possible that funds from Ontario were used to pay the Vancouver supplier.”
According to a civil forfeiture lawsuit, alleged leaders Huang and his housemate Nguyen were killed on March 1, 2020 after police officers “observed a vehicle driving abnormally on Block 900 of Kingsway.” Stopped by the Vancouver Police.
VPD inspected a 2016 Lexus with Alberta plates and determined it belonged to Nguyen’s daughter Cynthia, one of the defendants in the current case. The lawsuit also stated that Cynthia Nguyen “had police database entries related to drug trafficking and criminal proceeds.”
“VPD confirmed there was a large reusable delivery bag behind the driver’s seat. The top of the bag was covered with a plastic shopping bag to hide the contents,” government lawsuit said. said.
“MS. Nguyen and Hoang denied knowledge of or ownership of the bag, and police later claimed more than $117,000 in cash was “bunched or packaged in a manner inconsistent with standard banking practices.” discovered.
Police called Cynthia Nguyen, who also denied possession of the bag and cash.
Neither Nguyen’s mother nor Hoang contested the civil forfeiture action, and the money was later turned over to the BC government.
More news, less ads: Our in-depth journalism is possible thanks to the support of our subscribers. For just $3.50 a week, get unlimited add-on access to The Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites. Support us by subscribing now: vancouver sun | | prefecture.