What is Golden Touch or Create Abundance, the group linked to suspected homicide victim Bo Fan?
Self-help organization for women has been accused of fraud in China
When police asked the public for help finding out what happened to Bo Fan, the victim of a suspected homicide in Surrey, they mentioned her association with an organization called "Golden Touch" or "Create Abundance."
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesman Sgt. Frank Jang said he couldn't provide much information about the group.
"It's an organization with local and international ties," he said Wednesday. "We're still really doing our homework, our background checks, on the organization. We really don't have that much information."
But information from international media reports suggest it's a personal coaching group that has faced criminal allegations in China, and it appears there are also strong ties to the Lower Mainland.
Fan, 41, died on June 17 after she was dropped off at Peace Arch Hospital with serious injuries. IHIT is treating the death of the Chinese national as suspicious and says it was not random.
"There is still much we need to learn about Ms. Fan and her history," Jang said in a news release Wednesday, urging members of the public to come forward with any information they might have.
Pyramid scheme allegations
Golden Touch/Create Abundance appears to be a self-help organization originating in China that promotes spiritual and financial prosperity. The group was founded by a woman named Zhang Xinyue, who has written a book called Create Abundance that outlines her philosophy.
The book was translated into English and published by Vancouver's Poetry Pacific Press in 2015. The printing company's founder said he's not associated with the group but described the content as "mainly about self-change and spiritual growth for a better life in reality" in an email to CBC.
"This group/book seems to be particularly or much more popular among younger women than among other groups of people," he said.
According to a report in the publication News China, the group has opened dozens of centres around the world, providing training and counselling to women who want to improve their lives and their finances.
But beginning in 2015, members began reporting Xinyue to police in China for fraud, according to the same report. Other media reports suggest Xinyue has been accused of running a pyramid scheme.
Some of the philosophies of Golden Touch/Create Abundance are laid out in the now-defunct website of GT Global Corporation, an inactive company registered in the Bahamas.
According to an archived version of the site, the organization advertised a "unique image planning and … mind-body-spirit educational system" that has "brought wonders to the lives of hundreds of thousands of spiritually confused people, enhanced their inner growth and outer appearance alike, and simultaneously benefited them in terms of emotion, health and wealth."
The contact information for the organization's Canadian arm gives an address in Surrey's Grandview Heights neighbourhood, the area where police say Fan had been living. Local phone numbers associated with the group are no longer in service.
The same Surrey address is also given as the location of a B.C.-incorporated company called Create Abundance International Institute Inc., which owns the Mineral Springs Resort on Salt Spring Island.
According to local Chinese language media, the institute held an event in April 2016 to launch an initiative to "make a touching moment for one person every day." The event was held in conjunction with B.C. community groups, and was attended by former MP Joe Peschisolido and Burnaby Coun. James Wang.
The directors of Create Abundance International Institute are Zhong Guo and Dazhun Zhang, who are both listed in the Panama Papers in connection with GT Global Corporation, the Bahamas-registered company that has promoted Golden Touch/Create Abundance.
Contact information for Guo and Zhang has yet to be located. Requests for comment from the Mineral Springs Resort have yet to be answered.
With files from Winston Szeto and Rhianna Schmunk