British Columbia·CBC Investigates

What investigators found when they raided suspected fake doctor's plastic surgery clinic

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. was in court Friday to keep tattoo artist Zhuo Li, also known as Sabrina Li, from practising plastic surgery. New documents were disclosed outlining what investigators saw and seized when they raided her Delta, B.C., home in December.

New court documents show more women have complained to College about complications ​after visit to B.C. clinic

In the College of Physicians and Surgeons court documents, Zhuo Li is pictured as she was dressed when investigators showed up at her house. (Paladin Security)

New documents outlining what investigators saw and seized in a December raid on a Delta, B.C., home emerged in court on Friday as lawyers for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. continued efforts to keep tattoo artist Zhuo Li from practising medicine without a licence.

College investigators raided the house and suspected illegal basement clinic after receiving complaints in mid-November from both the public and physicians about nose implant and eyelid lift surgeries done at the house. 

Only practising physicians registered with the college are authorized to perform plastic surgery in B.C.

Li, also known as Sabrina Li, has a business registered as Sabrina Permanent Make-up Studio Inc.

Packages of sutures and needles were seized, along with and face and nose lift thread kits. (Paladin Security)

In an email to CBC, the college said "the court authorized the college to dispose of the items used for the practice of medicine and return to Ms. Li the non-medical devices seized, including the mobile payment processing machine; permanent makeup brushes; and the tattoo machine and tattooing needles."

Li is under an interim injunction and she and any of her employees are banned from practising medicine without a licence.

The college says it still intends to seek a permanent injunction. 

What investigators saw

The new documents describe what investigators saw inside the house when they raided it on Dec. 20, 2016. 

They indicate there were three women at the house, in addition to Li and her husband, Thomas Quinn. 

Needles in a sharps container were seized from the table in the dining room by investigators. (Paladin Security)

According to the documents, upon entering the home investigators saw Li wearing surgical scrubs, a surgical mask and latex gloves.

A suspected patient was lying down in the next room and Li told investigators she was about to start a tattooing procedure. However, they found a tray nearby with various needles and a Natus 4D thread product used in skin tightening, not tattooing, according to court documents. 

Zhuo Li and her spouse, Tom Quinn, share the home that was raided in December. (Facebook)

Investigators seized "devices, instruments, supplies, substances, appliances that were being or had been used in the practice of medicine" and also found records of treatment, invoicing and payment, according to the documents.

Li constantly on phone during raid

Li was constantly on her cellphone during the raid, using the social networking site WeChat to send messages, according to a report from investigator Michael Lantz.

A former client has told CBC that Li used the site to advertise her services and communicate with her clients. 

Investigator Mike Lantz of Paladin Security, left, led the investigation, including the seizure of 14 boxes of evidence during the raid on the home. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

Lantz's report also indicated Quinn took him to the kitchen pantry, where he removed a basket of Lidocaine injections. A further search of the pantry revealed two large boxes of medical supplies which the report says "appeared to be concealed under various food items."

A small bar fridge was found to contain Botox and filler supplies. A long list of supplies were seized, including sutures, needles and facelift tools and devices. 

More complaints

The documents released today also show members of the public have come forward to the college alleging they're dealing with complications following their visit at the suspected cosmetic surgery clinic. 

One woman described herself as a "victim of Zhuo Li's case," saying she had a persistent infection after a double eyelid surgery in September that left her with eyes that were "not equal to both sides." 

Another woman called the college and said in Cantonese that she went to a hospital emergency department after eyelid surgery and was still uncomfortable three months later. 

None of the allegations against Li have been tested in court. 

With files from Natalie Clancy

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