B.C.’s Asian influence figures prominently in Panama Papers

Large percentage of B.C. addresses in leaked database linked to shareholders of business entities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Two addresses in the Panama Papers database are at Richmond’s Venturi Park, a 99-unit rental townhouse complex

More than 40% of 200 British Columbia addresses found by Business in Vancouver in the Panama Papers database are linked to shareholders of entities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Those addresses range from a downtown Vancouver law firm to a subsidized housing complex near a Richmond high school, but the files do not indicate the number of shares held in the companies.

An entry for two people with the family name Wang listed Koffman Kalef LLP as their registered office. It said they were shareholders in Astec International, a 2012-defaulted, British Virgin Islands company connected to G&C Business Consultant Ltd. at a Guangzhou, China address.

Two addresses in the database are at Richmond’s Venturi Park, a 99-unit rental townhouse complex run by the Affordable Housing Advisory Association. Nobody answered the door when BIV visited the suite address listed for Tie Xueli, an officer of Jiahong International Trading Co. Ltd. in British Anguilla. Both a neighbour and the building manager said the resident was not the one named in the Panama Papers.

The other unit was No. 109, but the Panama Papers didn’t show the resident’s name, and the suite numbers only go to 108. It was the registered address for HSBC Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd. with shares in Chatsworth Global Assets Ltd. and Kingsdown Investments Trustee (Guernsey) Ltd. A resident at the complex was also named as a shareholder in Sage Holdings Financial Ltd. of the British Virgin Islands in International Center for Investigative Journalism’s (ICIJ) 2013 Offshore Leaks.

A woman who came to the door at another Richmond address, a single-family house near No. 3 Road and Blundell Road, said she did not recognize shareholders named Jim Wang (Mega Fortress Holdings), Zheng Xueqin (Fine Solution Technical Ltd.) and Lau Yuen Man (Asia Hero Ltd.). The three people and those investments link to Hong Kong-based intermediary Take Pretty Consultants Ltd.

In his book, Dirty Dealing: The Untold Truth about Global Money Laundering, British anti-fraud investigator Peter Lilley wrote: “beware residential addresses provided by applicants that, in reality, are merely mail drop addresses (beware suite numbers, home addresses in downtown business areas, incomplete addresses).”

Several others in Richmond were connected to the 3,882-entity syndicate Mossfon Subscribers Ltd., registrations in Samoa and middleman Orion House Services (HK) Ltd.