Sanctioned casino mogul explores Laos expansion

A Chinese casino mogul with a controversial reputation is looking for opportunities to develop tourism facilities in Laos’ Saravan province, according to sources speaking to Radio Free Asia. 

Zhou Wei owns the Dok Ngiew Kham Group and is also the co-owner of the Kings Romans International (HK) Co, which operates the Kings Romans Casino in Laos, a casino that has is seen by the U.S. Department of Treasury as the center of drug trafficking, money laundering, bribery, and human and wildlife trafficking-related crimes. 

Zhou himself has been identified by the  U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as the leader of a transnational criminal organization since 2018.

This has not stopped Zhou from pursuing expansion opportunities across the country. 

According to sources, Zhao along with his team of land surveyors visited the Saravan province on March 27 to meet with Gov. Phoxay Xayasone to discuss the possibility of developing an airport and investing in agricultural and tourism development projects. 

Zhao also visited the land in the Samoey district, which borders Vietnam, where he is likely to build a road. 

Though officials speaking with anonymity said Zhao was interested in investing in agricultural development, others said he did not seem to have any specific plans in mind. 

Last year, Zhau visited the Xieng Khouang province on several occasions, looking at a piece of land near the Plain of Jars UNESCO Heritage Site, which would be used to develop a tourist attraction complex, a traditional medicine factory and a golf course.

China casino mogul explores expansion outside of Laos’ Golden Triangle (Radio Free Asia)