Three investment companies want a B.C. Supreme Court judge to enforce a Chinese court’s decision against the owners of seven residential properties in the Lower Mainland.
Shanghai Zhong Jia Xing Hua Chuang Ye Investment LLP, Yangzhou Jia Hua Chuang Ye Investment LLP and Nantong Jian Hua Chuang Ye Investment LLP claim in Nov. 13 filings that Liaoning Muchang International Environmental Protection Industry Co. Ltd., a company owned by West Vancouver’s Bing Bai and his wife Yan Ma, was convicted of breaking China’s environmental laws in October 2018.
“In September 2014, the defendant Bai started ordering this employees to bury approximately 1,500 tons of hazardous waste directly under the soil,” said the court filing by Angel Jingling Wang of Jing Ling Wang Law Corp., a Burnaby lawyer representing the three plaintiff firms.
The company had guaranteed the three plaintiffs that it would not violate laws and regulations, that it would make full disclosure of company information to the plaintiffs and that it would apply to be listed on a public exchange by the end of June 2016.
“The crime impacted [Bai and Ma’s] company and they did not meet profit goals and became disqualified for a public listing due to the crime.”
The statement of claim alleges the investors transferred a total 3,360 million renminbi — more than $600 million Canadian — for 14.93% of shares in Bai and Ma’s hazardous waste and recycling company at Christmastime 2014. The plaintiffs claim permanent resident Bai and Canadian citizen Ma and their adult child Mu Qing Bai, also a Canadian citizen, used some or all of that money to buy real estate in West Vancouver, Vancouver and Richmond.
The statement of claim says that in March 2017, Liaoning Muchang’s management was arrested by Chinese police. By December 2017, Bai and Ma allegedly stopped sending company financial information to the plaintiffs. Details of the October 2018 convictions and sentencing were not included in the court document, which says a middle level court in China upheld the ruling last March.
None of the allegations has been proven in court. The defendants have yet to file a response.
The three plaintiffs want enforcement of the Chinese court verdicts or an order that they breached contracts and committed conversion and unjust enrichment. The claim is for the equivalent of $8.39 million Canadian.
Attached to the statement of claim are land titles records that show five properties registered in the name of Yan Ma, one under her pseudonym Sapphire Mar and another 99% owned by Mu Qing Bai, and 1% by Ma. Bai is not named in any of the seven documents. Five of the seven properties were purchased between 2016 and 2019.
Ma’s occupation varies by registration: She is identified as a businesswoman, manager, self-employed or student. The real estate portfolio is currently worth almost $24.7 million, including Bai and Ma’s $6.34 million Gleneagles residence in West Vancouver and Mu Qing Bai’s $2.983 million Caulfeild residence in West Vancouver.
Ma’s name is also on the deed for a $3.09 million house in West Vancouver’s Altamont and a $4.339 million house on Queens Avenue, a $4.45 million house in Shaughnessy in Vancouver, a $2.85 million house in Blundell Road in Richmond and condo on Elmbridge Way in Richmond.
A Chinese business website says Bai and Ma’s company employs more than 200 and is involved in collection, transportation, storage, incineration and landfill of industrial and hazardous waste, chemical and medical waste and electronics.
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