Canadian banks demand $2.3M repayments on properties allegedly used to launder money
01 Sep 2020

Financial institutions have demanded repayment of more than $2.3 million in mortgages and loans linked to several Metro Vancouver properties allegedly used to launder drug money.

Coast Capital Savings, Westminster Savings, Vancouver City Savings and First National Financial are seeking repayment on mortgages and loans on four homes in Maple Ridge, Burnaby, Mission and Coquitlam, according to petitions filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

The four homes, assessed at more than $4.5 million, are among six properties the province is seeking to seize as proceeds of crime in a civil forfeiture action.

In the suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in 2019, the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office alleges an auto and appliance repair business was used as a front to conceal money generated by an alleged drug operation ring dealing in cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine. The civil forfeiture suit alleges the six houses were used to launder money generated from the alleged criminal activity.

The accused include Ashok Kumar Naidu, also known as Roy Naidu; his spouse Gina Chinamma Naidu; Avenel Anish Naidu, the Naidus’ son; Avenel’s girlfriend, Alisha Ann Watkins; and Can Auto Electric and Appliance Repair Ltd.

In responses filed in court to the civil forfeiture suit, the Naidus and Can Auto Electric have denied any wrongdoing and claim their constitutional rights have been violated.

Watkins has not responded to the civil forfeiture suit.

The defendants have not been charged criminally in relation to the alleged drug ring, according to a search of online court records. The threshold for proving a civil forfeiture claim is lower than for a criminal conviction, a balance of probabilities instead of beyond a reasonable doubt.

In three of the suits that demand mortgage repayments, the courts have already ruled the mortgages are in default and must be repaid.

In a suit involving a Maple Ridge house at 10420 287th St., owned by Ashok and Avenel Naidu, a B.C. Supreme Court ruling gives the defendants until Sep. 11, 2020 to repay the $821,000 owing on a Coast Capital Savings’ mortgage.

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, 30 August 2020

Read more at the Vancouver Sun

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