Canadian Police Bust an Illegal Gambling Ring, Seizes More Than £5 Million in Assets
October 6th, 2020 12.00pm
A spectacular action was conducted by Canadian police back in July when the authorities raided a 53-room mansion in Ontario. The mansion was used for illegal casino operations, while 45 individuals were taken into custody.
According to the information revealed by the police last week, more than £5.7 million were seized in currency and property, including over £580,000 in cash. In addition to money, the regional police seized ammunition, firearms and alcohol.
What a Raid!
Following the search of the 20,000-square-foot house in the town of Markham, the police uncovered a fully-operational illegal casino located in the basement. However, money wasn’t the only thing seized by the officers, as they also found thousands of rounds of ammunition and various firearms, including an AR-15 rifle and a nine-millimetre Glock gun.
They also seized video slot machines and mahjong tables, as well as £870,000 worth of alcohol! Officers also uncovered very high stake limits at the tables.
Apart from offering gambling services, the illegal casino had guest rooms and a spa centre. The casino’s restaurant served exotic and expensive meals, while the maximum wager at the baccarat table was set at £15,000. No wonder the suspects had guns.
The mansion, whose value is estimated at £5.2 million, was also seized.
A total of 29 suspects where charged last week with more than 70 criminal offences. However, the list of charges could soon be expanded, as the authorities are investigating allegations of human sex trafficking.
The authorities received information about the illegal operation in late 2019, but the investigation started a couple of months later when the local police started to take more notice of gaming dens and illicit casinos doing business in Markham.
They soon discovered a large operation that was going on in the mansion, where gamblers were offered first-class accommodations, a spa, an exclusive restaurant and other high-end services.
The ongoing investigation, named “Project Endgame” resulted in arrests of four main suspects, whose long list of charges includes illegal gambling. The individuals arrested are Wei Wei, Chen Wei, Wei Dong and Xiang Yue Chen. Other individuals are facing gambling charges with only a single crime each.
Police conducted several other raids across Ontario, all done with the goal of putting an end to illegal gambling in the province. All in all, nearly 50 other arrests related to gambling were made, with several other properties seized.
Not the First Gambling Ring Uncovered Recently
Late last year, the Ontario Provincial Police busted one of the biggest illegal gambling rings in the history of Canada.
According to the information provided by the authorities, the gambling network that operated outside the law was uncovered after a thorough investigation that lasted for nearly two years. The investigation also revealed the scheme had earned more than £100 million over a period of five years. Police seized houses, cars, firearms and cash, while 28 residents of the province ended up behind bars.
The provincial police linked the illegal gambling network to one of the leading Canadian crime syndicate and the notorious bikers from Hell’s Angels.
Last month, two Canadians of Chinese descent were shot in a restaurant in British Columbia. They were suspected to be a part of a laundering scheme, that helped laundered large sums of money. One of them died at the scene, while the other was taken to a hospital and later released.
Only a couple of months ago, the 60-year-old Kevin Barton, poker and blackjack player was charged with the murder of his gaming partner, Vida Smith. In addition to manslaughter, he was charged with a total of 27 violations related to illegal possession of firearms.
The illegal casino was running in a mansion