Driving through sleepy Greendale on the western edge of Chilliwack one winds past poultry barns and hay fields, horses grazing and farm dogs running out to greet passersby.
There is one property in that rural area of the municipality, however, that has long proved to be a curiosity, a bit of a mystery, a “neighbourhood wonder” as one former neighbour put it.
The 11-acres consisting of two properties is surrounded by two layers of 15-foot-high cedar hedging in between which is chain link fence. Peeking out atop the high landscaped barrier are no fewer than 32 security cameras.
Inside is a 10,000-square-foot home with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, with a BC Assessment value of $2.5 million.
And after a Global News report Thursday, some of the mystery behind the property has been revealed, as the apparently French-style mansion was built by a Chinese gambling VIP allegedly connected to the RCMP’s probe of money laundering at Richmond’s River Rock Casino, itself tied to international drug trafficking.
According to Global’s sources, the house was built by 56-year-old Rongxiang “Tiger” Yuan, a man reportedly tied to the Chinese military who owns both a gun shop in the Lower Mainland and an extensive firearms collection.
There is a large building near the house on the Chadsey Road property that contains an underground garage, complete with mechanical lifts, inside of which witnesses report high-end luxury cars, such as Lamborghinis.