“Operators of the grow-op used the proceeds to purchase four other properties, including three west-side homes.”

“The B.C. government is seeking to forfeit five Vancouver properties having a total assessed value of more than $6.7 million and allegedly linked to a major marijuana grow-op.
A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court says that on April 19, Vancouver police raided a two-storey commercial building at 1201 East Pender St.
Police seized nearly 5,700 marijuana plants having an estimated street value of $2 million. Also seized were 154 high-intensity lamps used for the grow-op.
The lawsuit, filed by the director of civil forfeiture, claims that the lamps were being powered by electricity stolen from B.C. Hydro using an electrical meter bypass.
It claims that the operators of a garment factory at the Pender Street address were aware of the grow-op on the premises and used the proceeds from the grow-op to purchase four other properties, including three west-side homes.
The operators of the garment business — Soo Kim Louie and Cheuk Mak — also used the proceeds to make mortgage payments, pay property taxes and pay for property improvements and maintenance, it says.

THE FIVE PROPERTIES:
— A two-storey commercial building at 1201 East Pender, site of a police raid on a major marijuana grow-op, is valued at $1.3 million. The building is owned by a numbered company, 0880084 BC Ltd. Directors of the company include Soo Kim Louie and Cheuk Mak.
— A two-storey home at 788 West 64th Ave. assessed at $1.8 million,
— A home at 621 East 56th Ave. valued at $814,000, owned by Louie.
— A home at 5790 Granville valued at $1.4 million, owned by Louie.
— A home at 1383 West 64th Ave., valued at $1.4 million and owned by Mak.”

– from ‘B.C. government seeks forfeiture of five pricey Vancouver properties linked to grow-op’, The Province, 23 Sep 2012

Sometimes, the clichés are true.
– vreaa

27 responses to ““Operators of the grow-op used the proceeds to purchase four other properties, including three west-side homes.”

  1. This is, i expect, not an isolated case. There may be enough illegal money going into property that it has added to the price rise. What better way to launder money than by buying property that can then be sold off for another profit and the money banked? Hot money is always a problem. After you make it, you’ve got to find a way of making it legit. Will this case encourage the police to be more aggressive not just about grow ops but pursuing the money they’ve produced?

  2. i can’t wait until a few states vote to legalize weed in november. the vancouver weed market will collapse and organized crime will have to go somewhere else.

    • Weed isn’t the only drug around. In fact, weed is probably the least of our problems. Crystal meth and heroin is the drug we need to focus on. These 2 common drugs cause more crime as larger amounts of money is require for transactions. There’s nothing wrong with weed. Many people in Vancouver smoke weed daily. Including me.

      This guy really got greedy. After purchasing several homes, he should of sold off some assets and hide the money somewhere else. That’s a nice chunk of money he made.

  3. I dont claim to be an accounting genius, but I am yet to figure out how to turn that massive of an amount of illegal profits into a RE purchase without setting off alarms.

    Its certainly not as easy as having a million dollars under the carpet and making a cash purchase, that would get you red flagged instantly.

    Does anyone have a tangible explanation on how you can turn $1,000,000 in illegal cash into a Vancouver house without going to prison?

    • “Borrow” it from a foreign entity.

    • The buyer would not pay with straight up cash. He will have a decent size downpayment wired from someone else’s account and then mortgage the rest. Then slowly pay off the mortgage. There’s no way you can hand over a brief case and think that there will be no police waiting or you. Laundering in Canada is a joke and so many people do it. Canada pretty much let criminals do what they do. Our courts will say, “promise to be good?” and off they go.

    • I suspect that building is a better way to launder money than by buying property. You only need to show the prove the legality of the money for the cost of the lot with an old house, after that the unknown amount of the illegal cash is paid for to demolish an old house and to build the new one – and boom, they sell it and get the whole amount legal. Does anyone care where the money for the building come from? The same is with the renovations.

    • or door #3 … underwriting could just be that crappy where lender doesn’t bear risk … thought expt: what difference would it make to the bubble if people did stuff like this with ‘legal’ $ instead and how much more of that is going on?

  4. I think it’s only in the past 3 years realtors have had to get their clients through the anti money-laundering/terrorist financing process… Before then Osama Bin Laden could have bought in the British Properties and it wouldn’t have elicited more than a polite “Harumph” from Prudential Sussex… Then again, knowing Prudential Sussex’s history, one of their agents probably tried to cold-call Bin Laden in Abbotabad…

  5. I am all for confiscating properties from criminals. Add to police operational budget and push down home prices. 2 birds 1 stone.

  6. Free car with house in Richmond

  7. So the consensus is that property purchases are horrible ways to launder money?

  8. lol at them getting raided April 19th.

  9. How the hell did they get mortgages from our prudent banks?

  10. Dope and property — sad that these should be such prominent strands in contemporary Vancouver history.

    Or should that be “dopes and property”?

  11. Missing a chromosome

    This whole damn post is racist!

    • Why is this racist? The news paper reported about the a member of the hells angel and how homes purchaed with proceeds of illegal activities were confiscated. I don’t understand your point.

  12. This is why banks needs to evaluate a borrower’s tax-declared income and ability to service a mortgage. To look the other way invites abuse by criminals and overspending by naive people who think they’ll be able to safely make the payments.

  13. Pingback: “Free Car With House In Richmond.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

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