Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office says they are continuing with the ongoing investigation into the Friday afternoon shooting at Hotel Xcaret.
The Canadian Embassy has also confirmed an interest by them as well as the U.S. DEA’s Office. One of the Canadian men involved was wanted not only in Canada, but also in the U.S. Cong Dinh (aka Robert), 35, was wanted on money laundering and drug charges in both Canada and in the United States.
In an interview with Canadian media, Patricia Skinner, spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, confirmed that “consular officials are contacting local authorities to gather more information and be ready to provide consular assistance.”
One of the biggest questions being asked by authorities is how they managed to enter Mexico given their lengthy criminal history, with authorities noting the lack of Red Notice with Interpol. Canadian authorities are also questioning if those involved had mafia links in the state of Quintana Roo.
The three people involved in the shooting were 35-year-old Cong (Robert) Dinh from Burnaby, British Colombia, 34-year-old Thomas N from Toronto, Ontario and 29-year-old Ceara (Jessica) N from Mississauga, Ontario, who was injured. She remains in a Playa del Carmen hospital with undisclosed injuries.
Authorities have not said what part, if any, she had in the shooting, if she was involved with the two now-deceased men or was simply an innocent bystander in the hotel’s food area when the shooting occurred.
In 2019, Canadian press reported a reward of $50,000 being offered for information that lead to the arrest of Cong Dinh. RCMP in Canada say he had been wanted since 2013 over allegations he was involved with a Vietnamese organized crime group in the U.S. and Canada that laundered nearly $2.7 million through the trafficking of cocaine and ecstasy.
“Dinh is believed to have fled Canada to Vietnam prior to charges being approved, and despite our continued efforts, he has not been located,” said Chief Supt. Keith Finn, the officer in charge of the RCMP Federal Policing Program at the time of the news release.
Dinh had been charged with five counts of money laundering and one count of possession. “Cong Dinh is wanted for money laundering. Behind these charges rests many other suspected criminal activities like drug trafficking that directly threaten the children, people and communities of the Lower Mainland and British Columbia,” said Sgt. Maxime Langlois with the Bolo program who released Dinh’s photo.
Cong Dinh is believed to have fled to Vietnam before charges were laid against him and an associate in 2013. He was believed to be part of a Vietnamese organized crime group operating in Canada and the United States, “allegedly moving ecstasy and marijuana south to the U.S. and cocaine north to Canada” and had affiliates in California, Mexico, Australia, Vietnam and across Canada, Canadian authorities reported.
The man who fired the deadly shots, along with two accomplices, have allegedly been arrested, however, Mexican authorities have not released their identities or any information regarding their detainment. The shooter has only been tentatively confirmed as another guest at Hotel Xcaret.