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Charges announced in slaying of alleged money launderer at Richmond restaurant

Richard Charles Reed, 23, is also facing a charge of aggravated assault.
manzoIHIT
Manzo sushi restaurant was behind police tape Sept. 18, 2020. Police now allege Richard Charles Reed shot alleged professional money launderer Jian Jun Zhu that night.

Richard Charles Reed has been charged with the first-degree murder of alleged professional money launderer Jian Jun Zhu following a shooting inside a Richmond restaurant on Sept.18, 2020.

Zhu was shot to death in Manzo restaurant while dining with alleged money launderer Paul King Jin, who was injured by a bullet from the alleged attack.

The B.C. Prosecution Service has approved the following charges against Reed:

  • first-degree murder
  • aggravated assault
  • discharging a restricted or prohibited firearm with intent
  • reckless discharge of a prohibited or restricted firearm
  • possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with readily accessible ammunition
  • possessing a firearm with an altered, defaced or removed serial number

The charges come after a 14-month investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) with the help of Richmond RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section, and various specialized units at E Division.

“Although charges were laid, this investigation continues,” says Sgt. David Lee of IHIT. “There are additional persons involved in this brazen shooting. Homicide investigators are still investigating and will seek out and arrest all those who are responsible.”

According to court filings, 23-year-old Reed, who also goes by ‘Ricky,’ has prior criminal convictions ranging from 2017 to 2020, including robbery, breach of a release order and breach of probation after being charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

As for the victim, “Mr. Zhu was known to police but is not connected to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict,” according to IHIT.

Zhu was previously investigated through a high-profile "E-Pirate" probe into alleged money laundering through his money service business Silver International. The business allegedly catered to local, Mexican and Chinese organized crime rings. The investigation was turfed by Crown prosecutors for undisclosed reasons in November 2018.

Drug-laced cash was routinely emptied from suitcases onto the floors of Silver International’s Richmond office, to be counted by Zhu and his spouse Caixuan Qin, for the purposes of money laundering, according to allegations documented in court by B.C.’s director of civil forfeiture.

According to the director, E-Pirate coincided with a Vancouver Police Department investigation dubbed Project Trunkline, whose targets — with links to Mexican drug cartels and Chinese Triads — were also using Silver International.

The government launched the forfeiture claim immediately after the criminal money-laundering charges were stayed against Qin and Zhu.

Zhu is said to be the “operating mind” of the alleged scheme, which was estimated by the director to be a $220-million-per-year operation.

Several of Qin’s assets are still tied up by authorities, including a $2.3-million Vancouver home; about $2.1 million in cash; $17,800 in playing chips from the River Rock casino; jewelry; and about $10,000 in gift cards.

Jin is an alleged customer of Silver International and also faces several civil forfeiture claims. He has a previous criminal record with convictions for aggravated assault, sexual assault and sexual exploitation, stated one of the director’s claims.

Jin was granted standing at the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in B.C. to defend allegations against him. Testimony and intelligence from casino investigators pointed to Jin being an alleged source of cash for Chinese gamblers. He is involved in numerous civil claims against gamblers who did not pay him back.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca