lørdag 26. juni 2021

Chinese Casino and Resort in Laos Resumes Work on Controversial Airport

The crime-linked Chinese owner of a large casino and resort in northwestern Laos’ Bokeo province has resumed construction on an airport—a project shelved in 2017 due to local opposition—in a bid to bring more tourists into his large resort and special economic zone, sources say. Zhao Wei, chairman of the Dok Ngiew Kham Group and owner of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bokeo’s Tonpheung district, has been tied to human trafficking, money laundering, and the illegal trade in drugs and wildlife products.

In 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department declared the Zhao Wei business network, including the Golden Triangle’s well-known Kings Romans Casino, a “transnational criminal organization” (TCO) and sanctioned Zhao and three other individuals and companies across Laos, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Speaking to RFA on June 22, a member of the Golden Triangle SEZ management team said the Dok Ngiew Kham Group and Kings Romans are now clearing land for a new airport after making payments in compensation to area landowners who had previously objected to the work.