Loan Shark Arrested At Montreal Casino On Suspicion Of Ontario Murder

Written By Jose Colorado on January 16, 2023
suspected lone shark arrested at montreal casino related to murder of Ontario women

An alleged loan shark arrested at Montreal Casino will face murder charges.

On Dec. 14, Canadian authorities issued a country-wide arrest warrant for Shichao Dong, 38, and Lina Rong, 37, for the murder of an Ontario woman. The woman’s body — further details have yet to be released — was discovered on Dec. 4 at a Markham apartment, approximately 30 miles from Toronto.

Regardless, on Jan. 6, police arrested at least one of the two fugitive murder suspects.

York Regional Police haven’t offered additional details on the matter. But they did remind citizens to remain vigilant.

“They (Dong and Rong) are encouraged to seek legal counsel and turn themselves in. Investigators are reminding the public that anyone who is, or has, assisted the suspect may be subject to criminal charges.”

Homicide triggers Canada-wide arrest warrant

As mentioned, details remain sparse on the incident – but here’s what we know.

Police officers responded to an injured person call on Dec.4, 2022, at approximately 8 pm. Upon arrival, they located a deceased adult female.

A post-mortem examination ruled the death a homicide. First-degree murder charges ensued alongside a Canada-wide arrest warrant for suspects Dong and Rong — both considered armed and dangerous.

To date, police have captured only one of the two. However, the fugitives had at least ten days to flee between the alleged murder and the warrant.

Dong – alleged loan shark – previously charged with kidnapping, firearms

Between Dong and Rong, the former appears to have a more extensive rap sheet (record of arrests and prosecutions).

Consider the 38-year-old was already the subject of kidnapping and firearm charges. The incident took place in Markham in April 2022.

In that case, Dong worked alongside two others – Zeping Gao, 26, and Zhipu Dong, 23 – in holding a woman against her will at a Markham hotel. Involvement also allegedly included Bing H – a fourth female suspect. However, her whereabouts remain unknown.

Regardless, she faces kidnapping charges.

Victim unharmed in Dong’s previous case

Unlike in Dong’s current scenario, his previous victim was unharmed.

According to police, in that case, the victim and Bing H were gambling when things went awry. During the interaction, Bing H offered the woman a questionable loan.

Loan sharking involves lending money at excessive interest rates, often with the intent of coercing or extorting the loaner into paying the money back.

Regardless, the victim agreed to the loan, only to quickly gamble away the money.

When police arrived, the three other suspects – including Dong – were trying to get the victim to pay back the money.

Loan sharks still lurking in Canadian casinos

Organized crime groups often use loan sharking as a part of a larger criminal enterprise.

However, in Canada, it appears both the everyday person and mobsters are getting in on the act.

For instance, on Oct.26, 2022, a 53-year-old Windsor man faced numerous charges for lending money at a “criminal interest rate” at Caesars Windsor. Dubbed “Project Cadia,” the allegations came after a lengthy investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Across the coast, a “low-level” River Rock casino employee, Rong Lilly Li, also tried her hand at loan sharking.

Li died in 2006. At the time, the single mother acted as a loan shark to a local loan-sharking gang. Also involved were Chu Ming Feng and Guo Wei Lang.

Court documents say Lang strangled Li to death – fleeing shortly after. No one has seen him since. Police, however, did find his accomplice.

In 2009, Feng received a sentence of life in prison. Recently, the case returned to the limelight when a B.C. Supreme Court jury reduced Feng’s sentence by three years. He is now eligible for parole in 2028.

Cullen Commission uncovered five kidnappings, three possible gambling extortions

Amplifying matters is the Cullen Commission.

Released in June 2022, the 1,800-page document examined B.C.’s money-laundering problem between 2008 – 2018.

A 2006 memo identified loan sharking as a severe problem in Richmond and Greater Vancouver. The document listed five recent kidnappings– three of which involved possible gambling extortions.

Of course, the biggest blackeye remains the botched federal case of Canada’s largest money-laundering scandal.

In that instance, federal prosecutors mistakenly disclosed a key informant. The misstep forced the judge to halt the proceedings involving loan sharking.

FINTRAC leads fight against money laundering, financial crime

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada is the chief anti-money laundering agency in the country. However, the national intelligence agency also specializes in financial matters. Thus, issues like loan sharking, extortion racketeering, and much more would fall under its scope.

Unfortunately, FINTRAC did not respond to PlayCanada’s inquiry.

However, in its 2021 – 2022 annual report, the agency noted it contributed to “335 major, resource-intensive money laundering and terrorist financing investigations.”

They also claim to have aided “many hundreds of other individual investigations at the municipal, provincial and federal levels across the country.”

FINTRAC: we provide real and meaningful impact

Sarah Paquet, FINTRAC’s director and chief executive officer, said, via the annual report, their system is working:

“FINTRAC is having a real and meaningful impact in the lives of Canadians. Whether it’s our central role in Canada’s successful public-private partnerships, the recognized value of our financial intelligence to critical investigations across the country, or our work with businesses in strengthening the integrity of Canada’s financial system, we are making a significant contribution to Canada’s battle against money laundering and terrorist activity financing at home and abroad.”

Canadian Gaming Association: Canadian public can have confidence in Canada’s gaming industry

PlayCanada also contacted the Canadian Gaming Association but did not receive a response in time for publication.

CGA is a national trade association representing operators and suppliers in Canadian gaming, sports betting, eSport, lottery industries and much more.

One of their main objectives is to advance the evolution of Canada’s gaming industry by promoting its economic value, best practices and innovative research.

In a previous statement regarding money laundering, the Association said:

“As representatives of an industry with very robust controls and which generates significant benefits from across nearly every region in the country, the CGA believes the nation’s AML ecosystem, supported by diligent monitoring and detection that is backed by strong enforcement, will continue to ensure the Canadian public can have confidence in Canada’s gaming industry.”

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Jose Colorado

Jose Colorado is a British Columbia-based writer. He lives in Burnaby and loves sports, anime, writing, business and the occasional walk on the beach.

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