A $2,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest of a rogue dentist on the run.
The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. says its investigators have leads, but remain unable to track down Tung Sheng Wu, also known as David Wu, the man who was caught operating an unlicensed dental practice out of his Burnaby home.
Mr. Wu's vehicle, a 2013 Acura RDX, was seized by the CDSBC on Wednesday afternoon after it was located in the parking lot of a transportation company near the Vancouver airport. The CDSBC believes Mr. Wu was trying to ship the vehicle to Toronto to start practising as a dentist again.
"We have begun the process of searching the contents and recording our findings for the court," said Jerome Marburg, the CEO of CDSBC. "We have recovered documents, personal effects and a large quantity of dental supplies."
A provincewide warrant was issued Monday by the B.C. Supreme Court for Mr. Wu's arrest, and was expanded Wednesday to cover all of Canada, but the CDSBC believes Mr. Wu remains in the Lower Mainland.
"We understand that he does have family members and personal connections here, and that's why we think he's still in the jurisdiction," Mr. Marburg said. "Any person harbouring Mr. Wu can contact us in confidence. We will apprehend him without need to reveal where or with whom he is staying."
Because the contempt of court charge against Mr. Wu, which stems from a 2003 injunction against him practising dentistry, has not been designated a criminal matter, the hunt for Mr. Wu is being carried out by CDSBC investigators, not the police.
The CDSBC became aware Mr. Wu was still practising as a dentist after receiving a complaint in April. In May, the RCMP conducted a raid of his Burnaby home after the CDSBC obtained a search-and-seizure warrant. Searches of garbage bags outside the home revealed numerous extracted teeth, according to court documents.
The CDSBC went public with the information last week after Fraser Health began contacting the approximately 1,500 clients of Mr. Wu, urging them to get tested for viruses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
Affidavits filed this week by CDSBC investigators and a Fraser Health nurse give evidence that Mr. Wu continued to try to treat at least three patients throughout July, including adjusting braces and ordering dentures.
At Wednesday's news conference, Mr. Marburg faced more questions about why the public was not notified about Mr. Wu when his dental practice was first shut down in 2003. Although the CDSBC had applied for a search warrant, the court process was stopped when they reached a settlement with Mr. Wu that he would stop practising, and the clinic was never inspected.
"We had an obligation [to inform the public] if there were public health concerns, but because of the way it unfolded in '03, there was no evidence of any public health concerns at the time around infection," Mr. Marburg said.
When asked whether it should be CDSBC policy that illegal clinics are always searched for possible public health concerns, Mr. Marburg, who joined the CDSBC last summer, said the college is more likely to do that today than it was a decade ago. "It would depend on what information we have, how we get it, what results we get," he said. "As a general rule, yeah, I think we would look to see what was going on in the clinic."