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HomeBusinessNDP sends mixed signals about Richmond gym: government wants accused money launderer’s building, after licensing son’s security company

NDP sends mixed signals about Richmond gym: government wants accused money launderer’s building, after licensing son’s security company

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Bob Mackin (Updated Aug. 18)

The attorney general’s ministry is asking B.C. Supreme Court to seize Paul King Jin’s World Champion Club, almost a year after theBreaker.news photographed a B.C. NDP cabinet minister at the Richmond gym with the man the government had already accused of laundering millions of dollars.

But the court application comes the month after another ministry licensed a security company part-owned by Jin’s son at the same address on the south foot of No. 5 Road.

Paul King Jin (second from right) and Tourism Minister Lisa Beare (second from left) on Aug. 27 at World Champion Gym in Richmond (Mackin)

In the Aug. 7 B.C. Supreme Court filing, the director of civil forfeiture alleges boxing and mixed martial arts gym manager Jin is the true owner and directing mind of Warrior Fighting Dream Ltd., which bought the $7.7 million property at No. 5 and Dyke roads in June 2016.

Warrior Fighting Dream’s corporate secretary is Jin’s wife Xiaoqi Wei and one of the directors is Jin’s son Jesse Xin Jia.

“The No. 5 Road property is proceeds of unlawful activities because some or all the funds used to purchase and/or maintain the No. 5 Road property were acquired, directly or indirectly, as a result of unlawful activities,” the court filing alleges.

None of the allegations has been proven in court. Jin has not filed a statement of defence. His lawyer, Bibhas Vaze, did not respond for comment on Aug. 13.

In the claim, Jin is accused of laundering $23.5 million at licensed casinos from 2012 to 2015, generating $32 million in profits at two illegal gambling houses over four months in 2015 and laundering the proceeds through the Silver International underground bank. (A criminal case against Silver International’s principals collapsed in November 2018 and the charges were stayed when federal prosecutors errantly exposed the name of an informant.)

The government also claims Jin and his wife reported an average combined income of just under $30,000 per year between 2011 and 2014.

The World Champion Club is the North American training base for China’s Olympic boxing team and has hosted events attended by allies of Vancouver’s Chinese consulate, including Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations chair Yongtao Chen and People’s Liberation Army veteran Rongxiang “Tiger” Yuan.

Tourism Minister Lisa Beare at World Champion Club

Meanwhile, Jin’s son incorporated Blackcore Security and Investigations on May 11 with two other directors, Battlefield Fight League COO Trevor Carroll and Jamie Flynn, a former British Special Forces paratrooper who is now a Squamish BASE jumper and mixed martial arts athlete. Flynn did not respond for comment on Aug. 13.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General gave the new company its first one-year licence on July 3. 

But, in a statement sent to theBreaker.news on Aug. 18, the Ministry said it is now exercising a clause of the Security Services Act that enables a review of a security business licence at any time.

“This security business has been notified that a review has been commenced. We are not able to provide further information regarding the details of the licence.”

Blackcore’s 30-second YouTube promotional video was shot inside and outside the gym, with personnel from World Champion Club and Blackcore, and contains a voice over by a Mandarin-speaking narrator. Despite being new on the scene, Blackcore markets itself as “#1 Security Company in Canada.” 

theBreaker.news was told Solicitor General Mike Farnworth was too busy on Aug. 13 for an interview. The division of Farnworth’s ministry that licences private security companies is ultimately overseen by Assistant Deputy Minister Brenda Butterworth-Carr, the former commander of the RCMP in B.C.

A prepared statement from the Solicitor General’s office on Aug. 13 said it was “unable to comment specifically on licensed businesses and their members.”

“In the licensing process under the Security Services Act, business applicants undergo a suitability assessment prior to the issuance of a licence and, as part of that suitability assessment, assessment of the suitability of the business’ controlling members is undertaken,” the statement read. “Under section 4 of the Security Services Act, the deputy registrar can conduct suitability reviews at any time if a situation changes.”

According to a defence statement from an earlier case in July 2019, Jin had been a Canadian citizen for over 25 years and combat sports are his passion.

Paul King Jin (World Champion Club/Facebook)

“He has been engaged in the sports of boxing and martial arts for most of his life, and has been a participant and coach in these sports at the international and national levels, both in Canada and abroad,” said Jin’s defence statement. “Mr. Jin has engaged in numerous forms of lawful employment over the course of his life, including while in Canada, and has been successful in lawfully producing income for himself and his family in the process.”

When Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare used the gym for a photo op about the legalization of professional kickboxing on Aug. 27, 2019, Beare posed for a group photo with Jin, his wife and Carroll.

Beare later told theBreaker.news she was unaware of Jin’s connection to the gym or that Jin was there. She said the venue had been chosen by the athletic commissioner’s office. Donna Evans, the deputy minister of Government Communications and Public Engagement, did not respond to queries from theBreaker.news last August. 

Past and present government officials contacted by theBreaker.news said on background that a basic security and reputation assessment of a private venue for a government event would have been as simple as open source research and consulting with local police or the RCMP officers assigned to Premier’s protective detail. 

Jin has denied the government’s allegations in the previous civil forfeiture actions. He has also accused the RCMP of violating his constitutional rights.

After Beare’s photo op, theBreaker.news asked Jin to comment on the allegations against him. Jin said he loves Canada and wants to help children fulfil their Olympic dreams.

“Nobody who charged me, nothing, four years already,” Jin said. “I work hard and teach young people to work hard in Canada.”

Jin’s most-recent court date was Aug. 11 at the temporary court in Kitsilano Secondary School on a charge of using an electronic device while driving.

The government’s latest civil action against Jin was filed during a lull between phases of the Cullen Commission on money laundering in B.C. The public inquiry will resume by video conference on Oct. 13 instead of Sept. 8, because of document production delays related to the coronavirus pandemic. Premier John Horgan has not ruled out a snap fall election, a year ahead of schedule. 

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