Wanted Chinese Online Casino Businessman Nabbed in Thailand

Police in Bangkok, Thailand has led a raid against a Chinese businessman who is wanted back in mainland China and is subject to an international arrest warrant. The man, one She Zhijiang, aged 40, has eluded Chinese authorities since 2012, according to local media outlets, but he will now face charges of running an illegal online casino.

China Continues to Chase Illegal Gambling Operations

China has been known to pursue escapees internationally, especially when it concerns the safety of its own people. The country has shown a gung-ho approach to anyone who has breached its gambling laws, which are getting tighter by the day and more targeted toward everyday people who participate in illegal gambling.

She also operates gaming ventures in both Myanmar and Cambodia and he has been involved in various lottery businesses in the Philippines, a media report said. As a result of the evidence presented against the businessman, She’s visa has been canceled, exposing him to deportation back to China. Commenting for the AFP, a Thai police official said that the public prosecutor will submit a request to the criminal court this week.

Back in China, She may face up to 10 years in prison, as per the Interpol red notice issued in his name in May 2021. All charges pertaining to him running an illegal casino. In doing so, She may have committed other offenses, the red notice specifies.

According to the arrest warrant, he was the head of a criminal gang that operated between January 2018 and February 2021. He had to collaborate with a number of companies to maintain the operation of his online gambling platform. Some 330,000 gamblers are known to have participated in the gambling operations run by She, authorities argued.

Some $22 million have been transferred abroad by gamblers which goes against the grain of what China expects from gamblers. Even in Macau, where gambling laws were overhauled recently, concessionaires were told to make sure that they take less from Chinese nationals in terms of gambling money, and focus on overseas VIP customers instead.

Extradition Likely in the Works

Simply put, China is exerting soft capital control in which it wants to make sure the country’s money is circulating inside and not feeding foreign companies or economies. However, She’s operations were not as innocuous as simply offering people a choice to gamble. At least one person has committed suicide after losing money gambling through the platform, a report by Thai media said.

At this point, it’s not clear whether Thailand will press on with extradition, but this is usually the case. Regardless, the treaty signed by both countries demands careful preparation of paperwork and a right to the people targeted by the measure to argue their case why they should be extradited.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.