D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Schellenberg Case


                    The Case of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg

The raids on CAI Dongjia's drug operations in the village of Boshe resulted in the seizure of three tonnes of crystal meth and half a tonne of ketamine. A senior narcotics officer estimated that Cai's network produced one-third of the methamphetamine in China. One wonders though how Cai and his two henchmen Cai Donglia and Cai Zhaogui had been able to pursue their drug trade since 2011 with impunity. Police and other officials must have looked the other way; as well as drug and pharmaceutical companies. In fact, many of the villagers whose identity was revealed in the raid were part of Cai's extended family.


                  The arrest of villagers at the fortress village
                       on December 27, 2013

The open question though is "Was there a link between the execution judgements against Cai and Schellenberg? Schellengberg's trial at which he was sentenced to death was fifteen months after his arrest. Since his arrest was on Dec. 1, 2014 then his trial would be about February 1, 2016. It is very difficult to find the exact date of his trial or for that matter his arrest. It is understood that information by the Dalian court was not released on a routine basis prior to 2017.

The date of the execution sentencing of Cai Dongjia is also hard to discover, but the reason is unknown. The author had searched over one hour to determine the exact date. Finally, he found it in The Daily Beast as reported by Brendon Hong. The date of the article is April 13, 2016. Therefore, it looks like Schellenberg was sentenced about two and one half months before Cai.

The sentencing dates are rather curious because Cai was initially arrested about 11 months prior to Schellenberg. However, the judgement of execution of Schellenberg took place just prior to Cai's. This might be explained by the complexity of the Cai case. On the other hand, did the Supreme Court want to settle Schellenberg's case before Cai's and for what reason?

Both Cai and Schellenberg were charged with drug related offences. Those drugs were primarily methamphetamine. Cai manufactured and distributed meth. Schellenberg was charged with smuggling meth; although, he vehemently denies doing so. What begs a question is whether or not the meth and ketamine involved in the Schellenberg case came from Cai's village of Boshe? Did they come from Boshe through the intermediary of the Canadian named Khamla WONG who Sellenberg says was the mastermind?

Both Sellenberg and Wong had lived in Abottsford, British Columbia prior to 2014 where they were charged with trafficking cocaine. Whether or not they were connected at this time is not known to the author, but it may be. It is true that Cai had already been arrested eleven months earlier than Sellenberg in China, but were former associates of Cai involved? An alternative theory might be that Wong was stepping in to fill the gap left with the absence of Cai.

You really need to know some more about Khamla Wong because so little was said in the Canadian press about him in connection to the execution announcement of Schellenberg. As a Laotian born Canadian he fled Canada in 2012 on trafficking charges. At that point his Canadian passport was rendered invalid by the Canadian government presumably because he had entered Canada under false pretenses. He had links to what was called the UN Gang. Unlike Schellenberg he speaks multiple Asian languages along with English. He was arrested on March 13, 2016 in Thailand for selling ecstasy pills. Since Schellenberg's trial appears to have been earlier then it would not have been possible to question him regarding the Schellenberg case. However, it is possible for Thai authorities or Canadians with their permission, since they want him too, to question Wong now.

At any rate, while Schellenberg had been arrested with trafficking in Canada it does not appear he was involved with higher level smuggling. The fine only amounted to 150, 000 yuan in the China case  and the payment to Schellenberg amounted to about 184,000 yuan (if it is recalled correctly). These facts signal something less important than a high-risk endeavour of smuggling meth to Australia. It is uncertain if Schellenberg ever had gone to Australia. Indeed, if the best evidece of the crown is a phone call placed on Schellenberg's phone then the evidence is not compelling but seems more based on insinuation. For all these reasons, it appears that Schellenberg was set up as a patsy for a smuggling deal that went wrong. Smuggling was outside of his league. This may explain why he wanted to appeal the initial 15 year sentence for smuggling even if it was a risky tactic.

It so happened that on January 22, 2016 half a tonne of meth which originated from China was seized in Australia. Were judges of the Supreme Court influenced by this seizure in their verdict of Schellenberg? It may be that they wanted to appear to be doing something about the smuggling of meth from China to Australia which had transpired just a few days earlier. Keep in mind though that the original arrest of Schellenberg was on December 1, 2014 or more than two years earlier. However, the exact date of the Schellenberg trial is so important because on February 16, 2016 the Australian police seized $1 billion of meth from China.


                              Cai Dongjia at hearing in 2016

The outcome of all of this was that Schellenberg was "sentenced" to execution on January 13, 2019. Cai Dongjia was "executed" on January 17, 2019. It seems that Chinese authorities themselves are trying to link these two cases at least at this point in time. It seems to be more than a coincidence. The open question is whether or not they were intricately and intimately connected earlier. Basically, China is giving the message to Canada that if China executed the Chinese citizen Cai then it would not hesitate to execute the Canadian citizen named Schellenberg for drug offences even if the scale of Schellengberg's apparent transgressions were not as great and the evidence was scanty. The execution of Cai was not reported in the major newspapers of Canada for unknown reasons; although, it may be conjectured that they didn't want to alarm the public. Of course, China has avoided linking the Schellenberg case with that of MENG Wanzhou. Remember something. Schellenberg was arrested on December 1, 2014. MENG Wanzhou was arrested on December 1, 2018.

D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi