Hong Kong tycoon linked to offshore tax havens flipping $18M Vancouver house through shell company

By ThinkPol Staff

A Hong Kong property tycoon known as the “King of Shell Companies,” whose name appears in the Offshore Leaks database of tax haven clients, is trying to sell a house in Vancouver Westside for $18.88 million after buying it just three months ago for $14.12 million.

A British Columbia shell company called Joyful Holdings Ltd bought the property on the 4700 block of West 2nd Avenue on December 12, 2017, according to Land Titles and Survey Authority records for the property.

On March 12, 2017, exactly three month after buying the property, the owner put the Point Grey home, assessed at $14.1 million[1]https://www.bcassessment.ca/Property/Info/QTAwMDAwMDBIUQ==, back on the market[2]https://www.zolo.ca/vancouver-real-estate/4777-w-2nd-avenue.

BC corporate records show that the sole director of Joyful Holdings Ltd is Wilson Wai San Pong, who’s known in Hong Kong as “King of Shell Companies”[3]http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=172547&sid=21.

A search of the address listed on the BC corporate registry as the director’s mailing address on the Hong Kong stock exchange reveals that another of the real estate tycoon’s other shell companies are also registered there[4]http://sdinotice.hkex.com.hk/filing/di/NSForm1.aspx?fn=51700&sa2=ns&sid=50000414&corpn=iOne+Holdings+Ltd.&sd=14%2F07%2F2008&ed=01%2F06%2F2015&sa1=cl&scsd=16%2F02%2F2006&sced=16%2F02%2F2016&sc=0982&src=MAIN&lang=EN&.

The records show that Wai San Pong is also the sole or controlling shareholder of the companies registered in the tax havens of British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands.

The businessman’s name also appears in the Offshore Leaks database[5]https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/37916, which contains the leaked account details of wealthy individuals who use offshore tax havens to shelter their wealth.

The businessmen’s main company appears to be publicly listed company Winfull Group Holdings Limited[6]http://www.aastocks.com/en/stocks/analysis/company-fundamental/?symbol=00183, whose profits “soared 61.6 times” to HK$72.87 million in the first half of 2017, according to a company press release[7]http://www.aastocks.com/en/stocks/analysis/stock-aafn-content/00183/NOW.855595/hk-stock-news.

The real estate development and investment company appears to own and operate properties both in Hong Kong and in the United Kingdom.

The MLS listing for the Vancouver home seems to have been done in a hurry, with just one photograph and a description teeming with typos.

“Rare opportunity to own this huge 38,717 sf lot at Prestige Poin Grey, close to 8,000 sf well maintained home with 5 bds, 5 baths, indoor lab pool with whirlpool and tennis court at professional grade n halogen lighting for night playing,” it reads.

The BC NDP government’s budget tabled last month includes provisions to bring transparency to property ownership in the province.

“Currently in B.C., true ownership of real estate can be hidden,” the budget document Homes for BC[8]http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf reads. “This means numbered companies, offshore and domestic trusts, and stand-in owners obscure the source of funds in the real estate market. For example, lack of transparency in the land registry means it is not clear who owns nearly half of Vancouver’s most expensive properties. This is wrong.”

“The Province is taking action to close these loopholes and give us a clearer picture of real estate ownership in B.C,” the budget document, unveilved by Finance Minister Carole James, stated. “It will also help us to crack down on speculators, tax frauds and those engaged in money laundering.”

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.bcassessment.ca/Property/Info/QTAwMDAwMDBIUQ==
2. https://www.zolo.ca/vancouver-real-estate/4777-w-2nd-avenue
3. http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=172547&sid=21
4. http://sdinotice.hkex.com.hk/filing/di/NSForm1.aspx?fn=51700&sa2=ns&sid=50000414&corpn=iOne+Holdings+Ltd.&sd=14%2F07%2F2008&ed=01%2F06%2F2015&sa1=cl&scsd=16%2F02%2F2006&sced=16%2F02%2F2016&sc=0982&src=MAIN&lang=EN&
5. https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/37916
6. http://www.aastocks.com/en/stocks/analysis/company-fundamental/?symbol=00183
7. http://www.aastocks.com/en/stocks/analysis/stock-aafn-content/00183/NOW.855595/hk-stock-news
8. http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

13 Responses to Hong Kong tycoon linked to offshore tax havens flipping $18M Vancouver house through shell company

  1. lol says:

    it’s declared market value just a year before the $14mil purchase was $10mil

  2. Watcher says:

    The West Broadway address appears to be for an immigration law firm, http://www.directionlegal.com/ which features these services: Direction Legal LLP focuses on providing legal services to prospective immigrants, new permanent residents and established Canadians in a culturally sensitive manner. Our goal is to MAKE THE CANADIAN LEGAL SYSTEM WORK FOR OUR CLIENTS. Our clients come from many parts of the world–primarily China, Hong Kong and Taiwan but also Central Asia, Western and Eastern Europe, North and South America to name a few. We provide services in English, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese), French and Polish.

  3. Ron Usher says:

    Interesting. So we do know who is the owner of the property. You’ve found the public information. What we don’t know is who the shareholders of the company are. The Business Corporations Act needs to be amended to make the register of shareholders to be public information. (As it was at one time.)

  4. Stephen Wong says:

    The government should seize the property, sell it to a Vancouverite and then use the funds to build affordable housing.

  5. nonconfidencevote says:

    This happens on a smaller scale, day in and day out and STILL the govts deny its happening either for fear of being labelled racists or fear of popping the fiscal cash cow that taxing this endless money stream fills…..

    Either way VOTERS have had enough.
    Throw them out out out out if changes aren’t made.

    • Anonymous says:

      And replace the curreny gov. with what, exactly? Expand on your apparent partisan political position. Simple political rhetoric contributes nothing.

      • nonconfidencevote says:

        “And replace the current govt with what?

        Oh I dont know…..The Green Party? The Yogic Party? Canada Revenue?
        Or basically any Party that will slam the door on foreign buyers purchasing multiple dwellings?
        A 50% tax on anyone flipping? Anyone domestic OR foreign. Tax them HARD so they stop “gaming the system” at the expense of people out there who make a good wage and are still priced out of the market.

        Extreme times call for extreme measures.
        Seize assets of anyone illegally obtaining title?
        Open up the books to Communist China so they can see where all the illegally exported cash is?

        Or do you just critisize without adding anything of value?

        Simple critical rhetoric contributes nothing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Extreme times call for extreme measures”
    The call dangerous call of violent extremists throughout history.
    It has only succeeded in punishing the very people that the speaker meant to help.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Ahhhh, yessss.
      Before you tar me with the “violent extremist” try and think outside the cereal box you live in.
      Twisting my words.
      “Extreme times” was a referral to the unaffordable housing or did you miss all the other posters complaining about unaffordable rent, mortgages, etc?
      “Extreme measures” was a referral to implementing 50% taxation for flippers who increase the misery for everyone else while enriching themselves.

      Or are you so narrow minded you want to immediately blow every comment out of proportion?
      Accusing people of violence

      Or, more likely, you’re a flipper worried about losing a bit of profit on other peoples misery……..

      How dare I accuse YOU of being a flipper?

      “Extremist” generalizations go both ways you idiot

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  8. Mackenna says:

    Ban foreign money from BC real estate. All of it. Why is this so hard for our pols to do? Because the real estate crooks who keep saying foreign money has no influence on the market rail against any thought of preventing foreign nationals from buying up housing and using real estate to launder money. We are also seeing corruption in local elections in Richmond where a Chinese app is offering cash for votes. And a Chinese lawyer being investigated by the Law Society for trust fund theft in a real estate transaction is running to be mayor of Richmond. This individual Hong Guo also claims China has no corruption and does not torture and persecute its citizens.

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