Chinese woman linked to crime proceeds complains Cab case has made her famous

Bureau alleged Yan Yan Fan and Guang Ying Wang were in league with other Chinese nationals operating cannabis grow houses

Yan Yan Fan maintained her innocence and asked the judge if he could make an order against journalists.

A Chinese woman linked to various goods and funds that have been deemed crime proceeds has complained to the High Court that she has been made “famous even more than Gerry Hutch”.

Yan Yan Fan maintained her innocence and asked the judge if he could make an order against journalists. She said she was recognised in an ice-cream shop and is concerned about her child.

She has not committed any crime, and this is not fair to her or her child, she told the court on Wednesday. With the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) in her life she cannot get a professional job, she added.

Mr Justice Alexander Owens said “journalese” is not his style but he “cannot do anything about the press”. He suggested she does not read the newspaper she complains about.


Using the “balance of probabilities” civil level of proof, the judge earlier this month made orders under section 3(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act declaring as crime proceeds dozens of luxury items and some €146,000 linked to Ms Fan (47) and Guang Ying Wang (49).

Mr Wang, also known as “Richard”, did not contest the case. Ms Fan, who also uses the name “Ivy”, represented herself in court and denied any involvement in crime.

The judge said the bureau alleged the pair were in league with other Chinese nationals involved in operating cannabis grow houses. It pointed to large amounts of cash that passed through Irish bank accounts of Ms Fan, Mr Wang and her parents over the years and claimed the accounts were used to launder illegitimate income in the black economy, he said.

The bureau alleged Ms Fan used the “daigou” or “surrogate shopping” method of sending luxury goods to China, with these outflows matched by money transfers by her parents to Ireland.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Owens awarded the bureau two-thirds of its legal costs. This reflected that the bureau “did not win everything” in its action, which he believed contained one improper element.

After Ms Fan submitted that she had proved certain matters, including her innocence, the judge said he has already made up his mind on the evidence. If she thinks he is wrong she can appeal.

Ms Fan said she was not happy with his judgment but she wanted to thank all of the High Court’s staff, who have been “really nice” to her.

In his earlier judgment, Mr Justice Owens said Ms Fan had a “significant link” with 7A Henrietta Place in late 2012 when a grow house with 1,490 cannabis plants valued at €1.1 million was found to be operating from there.

He found to be “wildly improbable” her claim that the “vast sums” spent in Brown Thomas between 2016 and 2020 from two of her accounts were transactions on behalf of Chinese friends and tourists. He noted there were no tourists in Ireland for most of 2020 and that China was then in lockdown. It was probable that the money used to service these bank accounts originated in her Irish crime proceeds, he said.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is High Court Reporter with The Irish Times