A US judge has ordered the arrest of a Chinese pastor suspected of being part of a trade-based money laundering (TBML) scheme connected to China, according to a Newsweek report.
JianGang ‘Frank’ Lan pastored a church in North Carolina, where agents seized counterfeit Cartier bracelets which, if they were genuine, would be worth US$24 million.
The pastor, who is currently in China, may also be linked to investigations into potential illegal activity by a network of churches, businesses and education establishments in the US led by David Jang and collectively known as Olivet.
Citing anonymous current and former law enforcement officials in the US, the report says the TBML scheme may involve a wealthy Chinese citizen attempting to circumvent China’s capital controls by making a deposit of the local yuan currency into a Chinese bank account controlled by a criminal network.
The crime syndicate then deposits an equivalent amount in US dollars in an American bank account controlled by the same Chinese national. To make the deposit appear genuine, it appears to pay for goods, sometimes counterfeited, shipped from China to the US.
Citing three senior law enforcement officials, the report says investigators suspect links from the case to Chinese organised crime and drug cartels operating in the US.
They look to China to buy the precursor chemicals needed to make the powerful fentanyl that has been behind a surge of deadly drug overdoses in the US.
The Newsweek report, Chinese Pastor’s Arrest Ordered as Feds Circle Olivet Christian Sect, can be found here.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News