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A dentist’s chair is seen in the home of Tung Sheng Wu, in an image taken from an investigator’s video.

Tung Sheng Wu, who the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. says exposed more than 1,000 patients to health risks by doing illegal work on them, used to appear out of nowhere to pick up dental supplies, then vanish.

The former resident of Taiwan had lived in Port Coquitlam under the name David Wu for about 15 years, where he performed dental work in makeshift offices in residential houses. Since 2003, he has done that work in violation of a court injunction and he is now being sought on an arrest warrant across Canada.

But in Port Coquitlam for all those years, he was legendary in the Chinese community for providing cheap dental work.

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"You know in Coquitlam every Chinese know him. Pretty famous you know … because everybody is his patient," said Joey Tseng, whose dental supply company provided him with products.

"I heard a lot of people saying he is a dentist," said Mr. Tseng. "I wanted to go [for treatment] because it's cheap, right … but it was too cheap, so you worry, you know. How come he can do it so cheap? Just like free, you know."

Mr. Tseng said there was always an air of mystery about Mr. Wu, who drove around in a luxury SUV with his baseball cap pulled low on his head and who only met with people when it suited him.

"I know he's doing something, some dentist work, but not much [information was available]. He's afraid of people asking too much, right?" said Mr. Tseng.

"I don't know what he's doing, really. It's like sneaky. He just doesn't want anyone to know him too much," he said. "I don't know if he has a licence from China or Taiwan. Nobody can ask him because he doesn't want to answer, right."

Mr. Tseng said Mr. Wu came to him to borrow dental products or to order supplies, but picked up the packages at Mr. Tseng's home.

"I said you can order yourself, why you have to come to me? I know the reason [now], because he doesn't want somebody checking," Mr. Tseng said.

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He said he has no idea where Mr. Wu is now.

"He just ran away. He could be anywhere. It's terrible … he should have gone to court, told the police everything," said Mr. Tseng.

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