Richmond gym part of forfeiture bid amid ‘unlawful activities’ claim

A Richmond property, housing a large gym run by an alleged money-launderer, is the subject of a civil forfeiture case launched by the provincial government.

A notice of civil claim filed by B.C.'s Director of Civil Forfeiture names Paul King Jin as the manager of World Champion Club, a mixed martial arts and fitness centre that operates out of the 31,000-square foot warehouse at the 12851 No. 5 Road property.

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The property was assessed last year at $7,708,000, according to BC Assessment.

The claim alleges the property is the “proceeds of unlawful activities,” as funds used to purchase or maintain it were acquired through unlawful activities, including money laundering and illegal gaming houses. 

“If the No. 5 Road property is not forfeited and/or proceeds from the sale of the No. 5 Road property are released to the defendants, they will likely be used for the unlawful activity,” the claim reads.

The gym is operated by a company called Warrior Fighting Dream Ltd., named as one of the defendants in the claim, which has owned the No. 5 Road property since June 2016.

The registered office of the company is the No. 5 Road property.

Jin’s wife, Xiaoqi Wei, is the corporate secretary of Warrior Fighting Dream, while Jin’s son, Jesse Xin Jia, is one of the company’s directors, according to the claim.

Warrior Fighting Dream financed the purchase of the property in part with various mortgages, according to the court documents. Currently, 1219598 BC Ltd., which is also named as a defendant in the suit and which has a registered office address at 7788 Ackroyd Road, holds a mortgage against the property.

That mortgage was registered Aug. 15, 2019 – one day after the numbered company was incorporated.

“The numbered company mortgage is the only mortgage currently registered by the numbered company in the land title office,” reads the court documents.

“The numbered company mortgage is not a legitimate mortgage and was used by the defendants to launder the proceeds of a crime.”

And while Jin is named as the “true” owner of Warrior Fighting Dream, the director of civil forfeiture alleges that “Warrior Fighting Dream acted as a nominee owner or ‘owner of convenience’ on behalf of Mr. Jin with respect to the No. 5 Road property.”

The documents allege that Jin has been involved in money laundering – claims that have been made against him in another civil forfeiture case.

“Mr. Jin has been engaged in large-scale money laundering activities involving licensed casinos, illegal gaming houses and an unlicensed financial institution since in or about 2012,” reads the claim.

Between June 27, 2012 and June 24, 2015, Jin and his associates were involved in 140 casino transactions totaling $23,501,456, the court documents read.

Meanwhile, Jin and Wei’s combined income reported to the Canada Revenue Agency ranged from $22,371 to $81,000 between 2011 and 2014.

The RCMP launched an investigation into Jin’s alleged money laundering activities in early 2015, and found that after he was banned from all B.C. gaming establishments, Jin and Wei set up two illegal gaming houses located at 13511 No. 4 Road and 102 – 5131 Brighouse Way.

“Based on information obtained through the investigation, the RCMP determined that the net profit generated from the illegal gaming houses from June 11, 2015 to Oct. 8, 2015 was over $32 million,” the court documents state.

The documents also allege that Jin and Wei laundered the proceeds of crime, including funds generated from the illegal gaming houses, through an underground bank – known as Silver International – located on Cooney Road.

“Between April and October 2015, Mr. Jin was observed travelling between Silver International and various other locations with suitcases, boxes and bags containing large amounts of cash,” the claim reads.

“Mr. Jin received funds totalling $26,996,935 from, and deposited $101,000 to, Silver International during the period of June 1, 2015 to Oct. 15, 2015, according to information obtained during the (RCMP) investigation."

The claim also alleges that Jin and Wei used their bank accounts and those of their parents “to transmit large amounts of money from China to Canada as part of their money laundering and unlawful gambling enterprise.”

As part of the investigation, RCMP executed search warrants at various locations in Richmond in October 2015, seizing promissory notes, gaming chip invoice transaction records, shift schedules, payroll ledgers, invoices and other ledgers, according to the court documents.

The documents also state that the promissory notes listed loans owed to Jin and Wei totalling over $26 million.

“Mr. Jin further laundered the proceeds of crime by purchasing, paying deposits towards, or maintaining various real properties and luxury vehicles, including the No. 5 Road property,” the civil forfeiture claim alleges.

Jin and Wei have yet to file a response to the claim. The claims have not been proven in court.

The provincial government wants the No. 5 Road property, along with its proceeds and any interest, forfeited, and the numbered company mortgage declared null and void.

The government also wants Jin and Wei to pay the director of civil forfeiture any rent and profits earned from the gym since Warrior Fighting Dream bought the property in 2016.  

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