A long-time fugitive of the Chinese government accused of running illegal cross-border gambling operations around Asia will be extradited back to China after he was arrested by Thailand authorities last week.
She Zhijiang, chairman of Yatai International Holding Group, was convicted by a court in Shandong Province in 2014 of running an illegal lottery business in the Philippines, but he has not returned to China in that time and has been listed as a fugitive by the government.
The 40-year-old Cambodian-Chinese, who had become a naturalized Cambodian and settled there since authorities first began looking for him a decade ago, was arrested on 10 August and is currently in the custody of Thai immigration authorities pending his extradition to China, according to The Bangkok Post.
Yatai International Holding Group is involved in casino development along the Burmese border and has been developing a US$15 billion tourism complex in Myanmar’s Shwe Kokko Special Economic Zone, said to be home to both land-based and online casino operations. Media reports state that She has built a number of online gambling platforms since 2018, primarily targeting Chinese gamblers.
He had originally claimed that the complex was part of China’s own Belt and Road initiative but China quickly denied this.
In June 2020, the Burmese government organized a special investigation team to look into alleged criminal activities involving illegal gambling and online betting within the development, while Interpol issued a Red Notice for She on suspicion of fraud.
Taiwan media recently reported that many Taiwanese had been tricked into working in Cambodia but were treated inhumanely on arrival, including being violently abused and sexually assaulted. The reports included allegations of human trafficking cases in “KK Park” on the border of Myanmar.
China Daily alleges that human trafficking is prolific in “KK Park”, which is also known as “Human Hell”. Those who are trafficked to the area and are deemed to be of little financial value can have their organs removed for sale, it said, and claimed that She himself was the owner of “KK Park”.
The arrest and impending extradition of She is seen as the latest step in China’s growing efforts to curb cross-border gambling.