Thai police detain an alleged Chinese gambling lord
Thailand police have arrested a Chinese fugitive wanted by Beijing for allegedly running illegal online gambling operations, and will soon extradite him to China as per authorities.
According to Thailand's deputy police spokeswoman Kissana Phathanacharoen, She Zhijiang, 40, a Chinese national who also holds a Cambodian passport, was detained last week based on an international warrant and an Interpol red alert.
She has been evading capture by Chinese police since 2012, according to the Chinese news source Caixin, and she has been connected to illegal internet gambling enterprises in Southeast Asia.
Since gambling is prohibited in mainland China, Southeast Asia has experienced rapid growth in the online gaming industry, which mostly targets Chinese gamblers.
"He is a suspect that the Chinese government wants to investigate... Currently, the extradition procedure to China is in progress "Phathanacharoen added.
When asked about the matter at a routine press conference on Tuesday, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, did not confirm She's arrest or extradition but issued a warning to anyone suspected of engaging in cross-border gambling to turn themselves in or face severe punishment.
"No matter what corner of the world a criminal suspect runs to, China will initiate law enforcement cooperation with relevant countries and bring the suspect to justice," Wang said.
She is the chairperson of Yatai International Holdings Group, which has invested in the gaming industry in Cambodia, the Philippines, and most recently in Myanmar's Karen State, where Shwe Kokko, a $15 billion casino, entertainment, and tourism complex, is being built.
After Chinese-run casinos proliferated, Cambodia outlawed online gambling in 2019, claiming that it had been exploited by international criminals to coerce clients and launder illegal proceeds.
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