Vancouver Sun

Kwok family’s interests in British Columbia

- Joanne Lee-Young, Vancouver Sun

The Kwok family also has vast, private investment­s, notably in real estate markets around the world, including Vancouver. It establishe­d Aspac Developmen­ts in Vancouver via Mecca Holdings, which is incorporat­ed in the British Virgin Islands. It continues to wholly-own Aspac, according to the company’s director Raymond Li, who said he didn’t know how the company was divided among “all three (Kwok) brothers and (their) mother. We are accountabl­e to the family as a whole.” In 1993, Aspac partnered with Marathon Realty to redevelop industrial land at Coal Harbour. Today, some of the city’s most expensive, multi-million dollar condos are in the eight towers built there by Aspac. In 2007, Aspac beat out other local companies with Hong Kong roots to pay the City of Richmond about $141 million for 17 acres of riverside land next to the Olympic oval where it has since built the first phase of its River Green developmen­t. At the University of B.C., it built a 17-storey highrise, The Wesbrook. The recent court decision bars Thomas Kwok from taking a company directorsh­ip for five years, which is the same length as his full prison sentence. Li said Kwok is not a director of Aspac. He did not have details about the directors of Mecca Holdings, which controls Aspac. The directors of companies incorporat­ed in the British Virgin Islands can be kept secret, according to shareholde­r activist David Webb, adding the ban “probably doesn’t include overseas companies unless they are registered to do business in Hong Kong.”

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