CENTURY BANK ROBBERY
The Case of the Chinese Embezzlers
Think "bank robbery" and
you think "stick 'em up."
But that's for amateurs,
desperados, and the pages of history. This is, after all, the 21st century.
In October 2001, the Kaiping
Sub-branch of the Bank of China in Guangdong province, People's Republic
of China, discovered that a local organized crime group had embezzled, stolen,
and laundered at least $500 million from its vaults through accounts in Hong
Kong, Macau, Canada and the U.S.
discovered, two things happened:
and a run on the banking system in southern China that endangered the financial
standing of the bank in the world market.
four embezzlers fled-- three of whom found their way through
Hong Kong and Canada into the United States, where they attempted to
launder the stolen money in Las Vegas through major gambling casinos.
Here is where
international law enforcement goes to work.
By December 2002, three
of the four embezzlers were indicted in the District of Nevada for violating
Title 18 codes relating to visa fraud. Yu Zhen Dong, one of the embezzlers,
was arrested in Los Angeles two days later. Then some $3.5 million of the
embezzled funds were located and seized by the FBI in San Francisco; these
funds were formally forfeited and returned to the Chinese government.
This year Yu pled guilty
in Nevada District Court. Before sentencing, China's Ministry of Foreign
Affairs contacted U.S. authorities and requested that Yu be returned to China
to serve his sentence. With the written terms of Yu's care and handling in
China approved, Yu's sentencing proceeded: this month he was sentenced to
serve 12 years of confinement and 3 years of supervised released. And on
4/16, an FBI Agent and 2 immigration agents escorted Yu to Beijing and turned
him over to officers of China's Ministry of Public Security.
be sure that the long arm of the law is relentlessly searching for the
other two indicted embezzlers. If you
have any information on the whereabouts of Xu Chao Fan (aka Hui Yat Fai)
or Xu Guo Jun (aka Hui Kit Shun), please contact FBI Las Vegas at (702)