The disappearance of two men — a high-profile real estate agent dealing in luxury homes and his client — is causing concern among the Greater Toronto Area's Chinese community.
Missing is Jiangou (Tony) Han — a 44-year-old real estate agent with HomeLife/Landmark Realty in North York — and Jun (Johnny) Fei, 40.
The two men were together last Wednesday at Fei's 15-room, $2.4-million mansion in Mississauga, which Han had listed for sale.
Neighbours say Fei and his family lived in the house at 1801 Featherston Drive for about five years before it went on the market last fall.
Police have a surveillance video that shows Han parking his Mercedes Wednesday at a Tim Hortons in the Don Mills area of north Toronto. In the video, Han is seen parking his car before being picked up by someone in another car and driving off.
Peel Police have not released the video and Const. Adam Minnion won't say much about the investigation.
He does say there are "... some areas of concern" for investigators. "Until we classify this as a crime scene or crime case, I have to be guarded about what I can say about the car," Minnion said.
Han's family declined to speak with CBC News about the case on Tuesday.
Well-known 'brand name' real estate agent
Lu Zhou, a producer with CBC Radio in Toronto, has been following the case and on Tuesday told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway the case has received considerable attention in the city's Chinese media.
"He's a famous, brand-name realtor," Zhou said of Han, calling him "pretty much a Chinese Brad Lamb." Lamb is a well-known real estate agent specializing in downtown Toronto's condo market. He makes regular appearances in real estate television shows and his face is a common sight on downtown billboards.
Zhou said Han has made his name dealing in high-end properties, particularly representing clients in the Mandarin-language community.
"Han is one of only a few who's succeeded at tapping that market," Zhou reported. "His ads are seen in 80 per cent or more of Chinese media outlets."
Zhou also spoke to writer Meng Meng, who profiled Han in Fame Weekly, an online Chinese magazine.
Zhou said Han immigrated to Toronto from mainland China in 2004. He was a recent speaker at a real estate seminar, where he was praised as a role model in the business community.
Zhou said reporters who've dealt with Han describe him as an affable man, with a strong ego and a keen understanding of the value of publicity.
Zhou said there have been no reports of Han's involvement in anything underhanded or illegal. He has never been in the news before his disappearance, other than in complementary feature articles.
Much less is known about Fei, Zhou reported.
According to real estate records, he owns the Mississauga house Han was trying to sell. He used to own it personally, but sold it to his own numbered company a few years ago for $1.
Zhou said Meng Meng last spoke with Han on Thursday, the day he was reported missing.
"She called his cellphone to confirm information in an article, but he hung up in an uncharacteristic way," Zhou reported. "When she called back a few minutes later, the cellphone was turned off. She was immediately concerned."
Zhou said some real estate agents are speculating this is a kidnapping case, something that police won't confirm.