Chinese fugitive ran illegal gambling in Canada

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.

PTI




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