Friday, October 23, 2020

Toronto Dominion bank petitions court to foreclose on alleged money launderer’s Vancouver home

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The Toronto Dominion bank has petitioned the court to foreclose on an alleged money launderer’s $2.3-million Vancouver home.

In a petition filed in late July in B.C. Supreme Court, TD is seeking to have a Burquitlam Drive home in southeast Vancouver owned by Caixuan Qin sold and the proceeds returned to the bank on a first priority to cover the mortgage.

TD holds a $1,176,500 mortgage on the property, of which nearly $1,100,000 is owing, according to court documents.

Two other lenders — including Canadian Western Trust on behalf of a private lender — hold mortgages totalling another $560,000 on the home, according to mortgage documents registered with B.C. Land Title documents reviewed by Postmedia.

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Also named in the petition is the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office, which is suing Qin to seize the Vancouver house, $2 million in cash, $17,800 in River Rock Casino chips and dozens of gift cards as the proceeds of crime.

Read MoreMetro Vancouver residents blame foreign buyers, money laundering for housing crisis.

“The payments required to be made pursuant to the mortgage are in default,” TD said in its filing on July 23 in B.C. Supreme Court. “Demand has been made for the payment of the money owing to (TD) and secured by the mortgage but this money has not been paid.”

If the civil forfeiture office is successful in its suit the payout to provincial coffers will be much less than the $2.3-million B.C. Assessment value of the home because of the large mortgages on the Burquitlam Drive home.

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There has been no response to the petition from Qin, the other lenders or the civil forfeiture office.

In court filings, the B.C. Civil Forfeiture office alleges that Qin, and her spouse Jian Jun Zhu, operated an underground bank in Richmond, Silver International.

The RCMP’s E-Pirate investigation uncovered the operation that allegedly laundered as much as $220 million a year for customers, including drug traffickers importing cocaine from Mexico, according to court documents.

The cash, which was bundled with rubber bands, was seized from two safes in the police raid of Silver International on Oct. 15, 2015 along with ledgers, money counters, computers and cellphones.

Read MoreMetro Vancouver residents blame foreign buyers, money laundering for housing crisis.

At the Burquitlam Drive home, police seized more than $20,000 in cash in Canadian, Hong Kong, Mexican, Chinese, U.S. and Panamanian currency, as well as a small amount of cocaine, a digital scale, a credit card reader, counterfeit identification, a hand-stun device and eight boxes of rifle cartridges.

In their response to the civil forfeiture suit, Qin and Zhu have denied any wrongdoing and say police violated their Charter rights while conducting searches.

The two mortgages from other lenders totalling $560,000 were taken out shortly after the police raids in October 2015, according to mortgage documents registered with B.C. Land Titles.

Qin and Zhu had faced criminal charges as a result of the RCMP-led investigation, considered B.C. biggest money laundering case, but the charges were stayed in November 2018 just before the pair were to go to trial.

Defendants do not need to be charged criminally to face civil forfeiture, which has a lower threshold for conviction than criminal cases, a balance of probabilities rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.

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