Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Two charged in killing were robbing high-end brothel: police
Yaletown highrise housed illegal massage parlour
VANCOUVER Two Vancouver men have been charged with the murder of Jeffrey Qi Feng Bian, 29, who was stabbed to death June 11 in what police called a "de facto" brothel located in a high-end Yaletown apartment building.
Bian had rented suite 1802 at 1067 Marinaside Crescent five months earlier, Vancouver police Supt. Rob Rothwell said Monday.
Rothwell said Bian was stabbed during a robbery of the illegal massage parlour just past midnight June 11. "We believe it [the brothel] was targeted for robbery," he said.
Police believe other such massage parlour-brothels operating in swanky highrises throughout the city could have also been robbed without it being reported to police, due to the nature of the business involved and the reluctance of victims to come forward, he said.
"We are asking for the public's assistance. We have some concern that other brothels may have been targeted and become victims and we are asking persons who have been involved in these incidents to contact police," Rothwell said.
Charged with one count of first-degree murder, unlawful confinement, robbery and use of an imitation firearm while committing an indictable offence is Justin Lam, 20.
Derick Chin Wai Wong, 20, has been charged with one count of manslaughter, unlawful confinement, use of an imitation firearm while committing an indictable offence and robbery.
Both were arrested without incident June 19 and were to appear in court today, Rothwell said.
He said police went to the apartment after receiving a report of a stabbing and found Bian inside suffering from stab wounds, from which he later died.
"Bian was known to police but didn't have a criminal record," Rothwell said. Neither of the two suspects has a criminal record.
Two females inside the apartment who were witnesses to what took place were taken into custody for questioning and later released.
The arrests of Lam and Wong came following statements from witnesses and "very compelling" video surveillance evidence, said Rothwell.
A number of residences and vehicles were searched by police and 11 investigators worked for eight days gathering evidence, he said.
Asked how many such brothels were operating in the city, Rothwell said he wouldn't say "there's a lot of them" but police believe there are a number operating in high-end condos and apartment buildings.
"We've no sense of how many brothels have been ripped off but we believe there's been under-reporting," he said.
If residents of a building see what appear to be businessmen coming and going at odd hours of the day or night, they should report it to police, Rothwell said.
© The Vancouver Sun
Created: June 26, 2009
Last modified: July 19, 2009
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