Drug squad visits Meadow Creek Cedar owner’s farm
Police have visited Dale Kooner’s Surrey farm as part of an ongoing drug investigation.
However, the Meadow Creek Cedar owner “disavows any knowledge whatsoever” of what they were looking for, according to Lloyd Murphy, the court-appointed monitor handling the farm’s application for creditor protection.
Murphy said in a report to the BC Supreme Court this month that officers were on the farm May 10. Earlier, Kooner told him two containers imported by Best Oriental Foods Ltd., mostly of sugar, would arrive at the farm as part of a storage agreement.
“As the farm personnel were destuffing the container for reloading into other containers for shipment to retailers, police arrived to inspect the contents,” Murphy wrote.
The team, headed by RCMP Sgt. Ben Chang of the Greater Vancouver drug section, didn’t have a search warrant, but Kooner let them inspect the containers and remove some product for testing, Murphy said.
Kooner said the containers — processed through a bonded warehouse and inspected by Canada Border Services — were properly sealed when they arrived at the farm.
Murphy asked police about the raid, but “Chang was not forthcoming with any information other than it was part of an ongoing investigation.”
Chang did say the timing of their visit wasn’t connected to security and surveilance maintained by CIBC, which is foreclosing on the farm and trying to have it placed in receivership.
“Dale disavows any knowledge whatsoever of any ongoing drug investigation,” Murphy wrote. In a subsequent report, he said Kooner advised him the storage agreement with Best Oriental Foods has since been cancelled.
“We are of course concerned about the police presence at the farm ... However, due to a lack of substantive information it is difficult to draw any conclusions and we are unable to recommend any further action.”
The blueberry farm is being propped up in part with funds from Meadow Creek Cedar. According to statements attached to Murphy’s report, over $656,000 provided in advances since last August has since been paid back.
Since May 2010, Can-Pacific Farms, which owns the Surrey property, has transferred $2.6 million to Meadow Creek Cedar, while $2.4 million has gone the other way.
The statements also show CIBC’s security arrangements on the farm — which Can-Pacific was on the hook for — cost $36,000 in April.
However, Can-Pacific and CIBC have since struck a deal where Kooner’s company is now only responsible for $19 plus HST of the security company’s $50 hourly charge.
“We feel this is a reasonable compromise and we approve of the agreement,” Murphy said.
Meanwhile, several logging trucks and trailers that belong to two affiliated companies taken off the road for safety violations are still for sale. According to Murphy’s report, the Langley dealer handling them is “aggressively marketing the units” and there has been interest in the past two weeks as logging season begins in earnest.
There are two potential buyers, but proceeds from the sale aren’t expected until June 23.