The US Treasury officially placed the Kings Romans Casino based in Laos on its organised crime sanctions blacklist on Tuesday, naming it a hub for the trafficking of humans, drugs, and wildlife.
The sanctions involve a group based in Hong Kong, the Kings Romans Company, which operates casinos.
One of the sites operated by the company is a well known casino located in Laos, in its Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, on the Mekong River near Thailand and Myanmar.
“The Zhao Wei crime network engages in an array of horrendous illicit activities, including human trafficking and prostitution, drug trafficking, and wildlife trafficking,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Tourists who have visited the casino report a menu full of protected species at the casino’s restaurant, including bear, tiger, and pangolin.
The US Treasury named four individuals as key players:
Abbas “Basu” Eberahim, 29, an Australian who owns residences in Kooringal in Australia, Chiang Rai, Thailand, and the Golden Triangle Economic Zone in Laos.
Nat Rungtawankhiri, a Thai national aged 41 and resident Chiang Rai.
Guiqin Su aka Zhao Su, or Madame Su, 69, a Hong Kong resident with Chinese nationality.
Zhao Wei, 66, a dual Chinese-Macau national and husband of Madame Su.
“All assets of those designated that are under US jurisdiction are frozen, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them,” it said.
“Since 2014, Thai, Lao, and Chinese authorities have seized large narcotics shipments that have been traced to the Kings Romans Casino.”
Photo: Chiang Rai Times