In a June 24 lawsuit filed at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, leading global lender China CITIC Bank Corp. Ltd. has initiated seizure proceedings on the assets of an alleged loan fugitive currently based in Vancouver.
As reported by Reuters, the bank is planning to take hold of several homes in the city worth $7.3 million, stating that the properties belonged to a Chinese national that escaped to Canada after securing a multi-million dollar loan.
“The person involved left China with a large debt owed,” according to lawyer Christine Duhaime, who is representing the Chinese bank in this case.
Defendant Shibiao Yan is the owner of at least three Vancouver suburban properties worth millions of dollars, and is currently residing in a $3-million home in the city with his spouse.
Court documents revealed that China CITIC Bank is seeking redress for a multi-million dollar loan that was “personally guaranteed” by Yan. The line of credit was valued at around $7.5 million (50 million yuan).
As of press time, Yan has not commented on the issue nor filed a response to the lawsuit.
Chinese authorities said that at the moment, they are actively pursuing unscrupulous individuals who are taking advantage of loopholes in current regulatory regimes to evade taxes by funnelling large sums into overseas markets. Among the preferred investment destinations of wealthy Chinese are the residential real estate segments of Vancouver and Toronto, long acknowledged as the most active markets in Canada.
The 2016 federal budget set aside around half a million dollars for research on methodologies to precisely gauge the impact of foreign buyers, which various quarters have cited as a central factor in the unprecedented rate of home price growth on the two most in-demand Canadian cities.
Many foreign buyers already staying put prior to purchases—realtor
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