Located in the North Western Laotian province of Bokeo, the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone is a Mecca for gamblers. It is a permissive area for criminal activity and dominated by the Kings Romans Casino, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-registered Kings Romans Group, owned by Chinese national Zhao Wei.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, this operation is part of a transnational criminal enterprise that engages in activities far more sordid than mere gambling.
The Zhao Wei criminal organization is involved in the illegal drug trade through its facilitation of the storage and distribution of heroin, methamphetamine, and other narcotics for illicit networks. It permits and promotes human trafficking and child prostitution.And it engages in the trafficking of endangered and vulnerable wildlife such as Asiatic black bears, pangolins, tigers, rhinos, and elephants.
These are just a few examples of why OFAC designated the network operated by Zhao Wei as a Transnational Criminal Organization. The designation, which is pursuant to Executive Order 13581, "Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations," includes Zhao Wei and three other individuals, along with three entities across three jurisdictions – Laos, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
The three entities are Kings Romans International (HK) Co., Limited and Kings Romans International Investment Co. Limited, both registered in Hong Kong; and the Thailand-registered King Romans Company Limited.
Zhao Wei was designated for being the sole owner, co-owner, and director of these three companies. He has also engaged in extensive bribery to facilitate money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and wildlife trafficking at the Kings Romans Casino.
Zhao Wei’s wife Guiqin Su, a director of Kings Romans International (HK) Co., Ltd., moves money on behalf of the Zhao Wei TCO. Abbas Eberahim is in charge of security at the Kings Romans Casino and has engaged in bribery on behalf of the Zhao Wei organization, while Nat Rungtawankhiri is a director of King Romans Company Limited. He also moves money on behalf of the Zhao Wei network.
The designations mean that all assets of the designated persons and entities under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons may not engage in transactions with them.
“We are targeting key figures in this transnational criminal organization," said Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker. "OFAC is designating the Zhao Wei network as part of a broader strategy to disrupt the financial infrastructure of transnational criminal organizations that pose a threat to the United States and our allies."