Former Dealer Testifies At Cullen Commission

By Ben Hamill - March 09 2021
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Former Dealer Testifies At Cullen Commission

The Cullen Commission of Enquiry into money laundering in British Columbia on Wednesday heard even more damning evidence about the involvement of loan sharks in Richmond’s VIP gambling scene. Testimony given by former Vancouver Edgewater Casino worker Qi “Coco” Li revealed how she had facilitated numerous suspicious cash and chip drops to Baccarat high rollers at Richmond’s notorious River Rock Casino.

Li revealed how after she was hired at Edgewater back in 2007, she had developed an unhealthy relationship with gambling after she started playing high-stakes Baccarat at River Rock Casino. The commission heard how Li had eventually lost so much money due to her unhealthy obsession with gambling, that she started running errands for Chinese big bosses who bet up to $100,000 per hand at the tables at Richmond.

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No Control, Hears Commission

The commission also heard how many of the cash and chip drops facilitated by Li and others, had been delivered to River Rock Baccarat players connected to Richmond currency exchanger Jin, and notorious loan shark Kwok Chung Tam.

Li also testified how in May of 2014 she had managed to create a VIP account for herself at River Rock Casino. She told the commission that since no one had bothered to properly supervise or control high-roller accounts, even though she was a well-known dealer in the area, she had gotten away with passing herself off as a “housewife” on her application. Li also testified how she – along with many others – had lost their entire life savings as well as their dignity.

Li’s testimony did not elaborate regarding the reasons for the big-cash drops made to River Rock’s high-rolling Baccarat players. She continued to do this until April 2015, when a B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch investigation finally led to the cancellation of her gaming employee registration.

Bags Of Dirty Money

Li on Wednesday testified about several big-money cash transactions, including a $400,000 cash deal that took place in November 2014. This particular deal had been connected to high roller Kesi Wei, who the commission had previously heard shared connections with Tam as well as Jin.

The former dealer testified that since her job had not been to establish the origins of any of the funds, she had not at any point been involved with anything else but to keep patrons by the names Xia, Sha, and Long Jiang Wang happy. She did however reveal that once made aware that she would be moving big bags of cash, such a delivery would not be planned so as to happen in a casino lobby. This was because of the many cameras installed in casino lobbies, testified Li. 

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