A B.C. businessman is suing a Richmond vault company for allegedly closing up shop and disappearing with the contents of his safety deposit box — $176,557 in silver and gold bars and coins.
In a B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim filed Feb. 21, Michael Dale Hsu said he paid International Private Vaults Inc. cash in July 2018 for a box. That payment was for a two-year lease; he then paid for another four years in February 2020, state court documents.
However, when he went to the office on Dec. 26, 2022, he found it closed.
The court filing says the box had multiple gold, silver and platinum bars and coins as well as $1,000 in Australian currency and $18,000 in Canadian money.
The claim said Hsu looked for the company website but that too was gone. Glacier Media found the website address but it is now home to an Asian pornography site.
The phone had also been disconnected, according to the claim.
“The location of the vault, the compartment and the contents the complainant placed in the compartment is currently unknown to the plaintiff,” the claim said.
It asserts the company has taken possession of the contents without lawful authority and has withheld them from Hsu.
The court documents say the company has a registered office in Vancouver but operated a business leasing safety deposit boxes in a secure vault in Richmond.
Access to the vault was via the company and box holder each having a key as well as an iris scan.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.