Chinese gambling kingpin taken into custody in Bangkok, Latest World News - The New Paper

Chinese gambling kingpin taken into custody in Bangkok

This article is more than 12 months old

BANGKOK (AFP) - The authorities in Bangkok have detained a controversial Chinese businessman who is the subject of an international arrest warrant for allegedly running an illegal online casino, Thai police said on Saturday (Aug 13).

She Zhijiang, 40, has been on the run from the Chinese authorities since 2012, according to Chinese media.

He has had controversial mega projects and gaming ventures in Cambodia and at Shwe Kokko in Myanmar's Kayin state, as well as a lottery venture in the Philippines, multiple media reports say.

Thai police said She's Thai visa had been cancelled after he was taken into immigration custody on Wednesday night, pending an extradition request.

"The public prosecutor will submit a (provisional arrest) request to the criminal court next week," a Thai police official told AFP.

An Interpol red notice published in May 2021 and obtained by AFP says She is facing criminal charges in China related to running a casino and could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

Between January 2018 and February 2021, the suspect - who heads up a "criminal gang" - colluded with others to register companies, and research and develop online gambling platforms, the red notice says.

The notice adds that online gambling websites including Hongshulin, Yigou and Yiyou International were set up and 330,000 gamblers were recruited.

"The illegal proceeds obtained by She Zhijiang were more than 150 million yuan (S$30.5 million) in total which has been transferred abroad," the red notice reads.

One Chinese victim who was scammed out of a substantial sum of money committed suicide, Thai media reported.

The red notice says She has a Cambodian passport but was born in China's Hunan province.

Frontier Myanmar reported he was granted Cambodian citizenship in 2017 but said the exact circumstances were unclear.

The Cambodian government can grant citizenship if a person donates at least US$250,000 (S$340,000) to its coffers.

China and Thailand have an extradition treaty, but the process could take several months.