Chinese fugitive ran illegal gambling in Canada
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 14:58
Vancouver: One of China's most-wanted fugitives has alleged connections to organized crime, loan sharking and illegal gambling in Canada, a Canadian intelligence officer said on Tuesday.

Vancouver Det James Fisher told Lai Changxing's detention hearing that a reliable source told him Lai was in charge of an illegal gaming operation out of a home in Richmond, British Columbia.

His source also told him Lai was in partnership with loan shark Betty Yan, who was found murdered in April 2009. Yan was found shot to death in a Richmond, British Columbia, industrial park in April 2009.

The officer would not name his source.

Lai has been fighting deportation, arguing he could face torture or even death at the hands of China's Communist regime.

Lai's lawyer, Darryl Larson, was surprised to hear the allegations, and asked to adjourn today's hearing so he could talk to his client.

"I want to talk to Lai about these allegations from an unnamed, long-term criminal, who apparently is a reliable testifier," said Larson.

Lai, who attended the hearing via video and phone link from jail, blurted out several times in Mandarin near the end of the officer's testimony that the claims weren't true.

Lai also complained through a translator that he had to remain handcuffed during the hearing.

Lai has spent 12 years fighting his return to China, where he's accused of heading a network that smuggled billions of dollars worth of goods into China with the protection of corrupt officials.

His case has drawn the attention of the highest political circles in both Canada and China.

Canada's foreign affairs minister was in China on Monday and denied that his visit to the country this week had anything to do with the federal government's push to deport Lai.


First Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 14:58

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