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7 Apr 2021

Eugene Whong, Radio Free Asia

Laos: Chinese casino operator sanctioned by US seeks expansion in Golden Triangle SEZ, raising pollution and livelihood concerns

Photo: Irene Pietropaoli

"Chinese Casino Mogul Zhao Wei Explores Expansion Out of Laos’ Golden Triangle SEZ", 7 April 2021

A controversial Chinese casino kingpin with a large business network in Laos is looking to develop tourism facilities in remote areas of the Southeast Asian country, sources in Laos told RFA.

Zhao Wei, sanctioned as the leader of a “transnational criminal organization” by the U.S. Treasury, owns the Dok Ngiew Kham Group, and is co-owner of the Kings Romans International (HK) Co., Limited, which operates the Kings Romans Casino in Laos’ Golden Triangle SEZ. He is said to hold de facto control of the SEZ, which caters mainly to Chinese tourists. [...]

Officials from Saravan province confirmed Zhao’s visit in comments to RFA’s Lao Service March 31. [...]

A farmer in Ta-Oey district told RFA that Chinese agricultural development projects are worrisome, for pollution and commercial reasons. [...]