The B.C. government has filed suit to seize the assets of a company linked to clandestine Richmond drug labs raided by the RCMP earlier this year.
The director of civil forfeiture filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 against Manila Bayshore Holdings Inc., David Gar Fong Lee, Kim World Huang and Yung En Yang.
The suit alleges that Manila, which Lee registered in B.C. on Feb. 7, 2019, is actually controlled by Huang and Yang, and is used to shield their drug-trafficking profits.
The amount of money in Manila’s bank account is not detailed in the statement of claim, which also wants stacks of cash found in Huang and Yang’s house forfeited as proceeds of crime.
Richmond RCMP responded to an apartment fire on March 4, 2020, at a suspected clandestine drug lab, according to the lawsuit. The address is not mentioned in the court document but, at the time, Richmond Mounties said the fire was in the 6900-block of Elmbridge Way.
The next day police executed a search warrant at the apartment and found “large quantities of methamphetamine, synthetic drug-precursor chemicals and equipment associated to the production of methamphetamine.”
The Mounties then began an investigation into meth production and determined there were three clandestine labs in Richmond, including one at Huang and Yang’s home at 6340 Comstock Rd.
During a search of the house, police found a loaded handgun in the bedroom nightstand, bundles of Canadian cash, an active drug lab with multiple baking sheets and containers cooking meth, measuring cups and bowls, cutting agents, solvents and chemical containers. There were also Ziploc bags containing fentanyl and others full of Xanax pills, as well as cannabis.
Officers also seized “three assault-style long guns” — all stored near ammunition — and a silencer, as well as “six plastic bags containing several kilograms of methamphetamine,” the director said in the lawsuit.
There was also a chequebook linked to the Manila Bayshore account, as well as notes of cooking instructions to make the controlled substances seized.
Manila’s “bank funds are proceeds and an instrument of unlawful activity,” including possession for the purpose of trafficking, illicitly selling cannabis, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of the proceeds of crime, money laundering and failure to declare income tax, the suit alleges.
No statement of defence has yet been filed by Lee, Huang or Yang. Nor are any of the three facing criminal charges in connection with the investigation.
But Huang was convicted of trafficking in Vancouver in January 2017 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
He was charged again in Richmond in May 2018 with 12 counts of possession for the purposes of trafficking after three people overdosed inside a residence in the 8000-block of Hazelbridge Way. All were treated and survived. Police seized a large quantity of drugs from the home, including cocaine, crystal meth, heroin cut with fentanyl, ketamine, ecstasy, pot and LSD.
Earlier this year, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) stayed the charges three days after Huang’s trial began in B.C. Supreme Court.
“After hearing the testimony of Crown witnesses, the Crown reassessed the case and determined that the reasonable prospect no longer existed,” PPSC spokeswoman Nathalie Houle explained in an email Monday.