16:31 GMT +318 June 2018
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    The US Treasury Department

    US Sanctions Laos-Based Crime Network Leaders

    CC BY 2.0 / Roman Boed / The US Treasury Department
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States sanctioned the Laos-based Zhao Wei Transnational Criminal Organization, four of its leaders, and three associated entities for engaging in human and drug trafficking, among other crimes, facilitated through the group’s casino operations, the Treasury Department said in a press release.

    "Today, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Zhao Wei Transnational Criminal Organization (Zhao Wei TCO)," the release said on Tuesday. "OFAC also designated a network of four individuals and three entities across three jurisdictions — Laos, Thailand, and Hong Kong."

    The US Treasury designated casino owner Zhao Wei and his wife Guiqin Su, both Chinese nationals, according to the release, in addition to an Australian national in charge of casino security and a Thai national who directs a casino-related entity.

    The release said the Zhao Wei network uses the King Romans Casino in Laos' Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GTSEZ) to facilitate much of their criminal activity including wildlife trafficking, child prostitution, money laundering, and bribery.

    The group also uses the casino for storage and illegal distribution of heroin, methamphetamine, and other narcotics, for illicit networks such as the United Wa State Army operating in neighboring Burma, the release added.

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    Tags:
    bribery, money laundering, casinos, drugs, gangs, special economic zone, crimes, sanctions, Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GTSEZ), Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), US Department of the Treasury, Zhao Wei TCO, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, United States
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