Tuesday, October 02, 2007
London Chinese community figure named in DVD and people-smuggling investigation
A BBC South East reporter has infiltrated a group of Chinese immigrants and uncovered what is alleged to be a pirate DVD selling operation that is closely linked with people smuggling from China. Furthermore, a main player in the operation is said to be He Jia-Jin, who was previously the Vice-Chairman of the London Chinatown Chinese Association.
He Jia-Jin is said to be linked to properties that were used to house the smuggled immigrants (allegedly up to 18 in one house). He is currently standing trial in Hong Kong for money laundering offences and has been arrested in the past in relation to people smuggling offences.
In 2004, Mr. He's assets were frozen by the British authorities investigating his activities. This prevented £14,000 that he had raised from the Chinese community for the families of the deceased Morecambe Bay cockle pickers from being sent to China (Source: The Times)
People smuggling is a lucrative criminal activity that burdens the smuggled immigrants with huge debts that are often enforced with threats of violence against relatives back home.
It's something that's been mentioned on this blog before but I think this shows that (as with many parts of London) behind the surface appearance of Chinatown there are murky goings on that the average tourist or restaurant diner has no idea about.
Source: BBC News.
Related: BBC South East investigation.
Related: He Jia-Jin found guilty of money laundering in Hong Kong (BBC News).