Vancouver police allege a trio of local burglars were likely responsible for an aborted break-in at one of Meng Wanzhou’s multimillion-dollar homes that occurred two days before she was released on bail last December.
Constable Steve Addison said his department reviewed footage uploaded from the security cameras of neighbours and identified two women and a man breaking in to the Dunbar neighbourhood home early in the morning on Dec. 9 – two days before the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. chief financial officer moved there after a stint in a local jail while awaiting bail in her extradition case.
Investigators identified one woman and the man as suspects in other local break-and-enters by matching up their clothing and mannerisms in the videos, Constable Addison said. However, no criminal charges were laid and the case was closed this spring, he added.
“The investigation wasn’t able to find enough concrete evidence to link the people to this crime."
Constable Addison said conspiracy theories suggesting spies were somehow involved in the aborted burglary and that it was tied to the international incident were unfounded.
Canadian officers arrested Ms. Meng as she connected through Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from the United States, which is alleging the Huawei CFO lied about the company’s activities in Iran and placed banks at risk of violating U.S. economic sanctions. Her extradition case is set to go to trial next January.
Her detention was followed by the imprisonment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China and a souring of political and trade relations between the two countries, with Canadian canola and meat products being subject to trade bans by China.
Nothing was stolen at Ms. Meng’s home in the break-in, which was reported at 5:20 a.m. by a man living at the residence, police say.
Liu Xiaozong, a venture capitalist married to Ms. Meng, is listed as the owner of the $5-million house and had flown in from Shenzhen just days before the incident to attend his wife’s court appearances.
During her bail hearing, Ms. Meng’s lawyer said she first landed in Vancouver 15 years ago and soon began visiting regularly and eventually became a permanent resident of Canada. In 2009, she relinquished that status, but her middle son and youngest daughter began going to school in Vancouver, and she and her husband bought the house in Dunbar. After 2012, the children no longer resided in Vancouver, her lawyer said, yet they often returned for weeks or even months during the ensuing summers.
Extradition filings released last month shed new light on Ms. Meng’s peripatetic lifestyle, noting that her itinerary in the three months before her detention included stops in: Paris (Sept. 3), London, Nice and Dublin (Sept. 4), Warsaw (Sept. 7); London (Sept. 8), Singapore (Sept. 25), London (Oct. 6), Tokyo (later in October) and Brussels (Nov. 25).
She also was in Vancouver on Oct. 5, 2018, one of the 51 times she had visited Canada in the previous decade, the filing stated.
On Sunday, a person who answered the door said Ms. Meng and her family do not live there any more.
Ms. Meng, who must wear a GPS ankle bracelet aimed at keeping her in or near Vancouver and away from its airport, is now staying a 10-minute drive east in the $13-million mansion her family owns in Vancouver’s posh Shauhgnessy neighbourhood, a property that was being renovated at the time of her arrest last December.
Three members of her round-the-clock security detail were visible at the property Sunday, one sitting in a black SUV across the street, one at a table under a tent behind the front gate and one at the very back of the property.
The man on the front lawn identified himself as an employee of Lions Gate Risk Management Group, whose chief executive volunteered to be one of Ms. Meng’s sureties or “community jailers” in charge of making sure she abides by the conditions of her bail. He said the family did not want to comment and refused to pass on a request to do so.
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