During a survey of local art dealers in Oak Bay, British Columbia, more than 1,000 art police said they were worth tens of millions of dollars in total. This includes three precious Emily Carr paintings.
On April 11, someone contacted Saanich police and reported that they had commissioned four pieces of art to a local dealer for possible consignment and sale at Oak Bay’s art gallery, according to a statement on Thursday.
The works were three original paintings by renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr and watercolors by David Blackwood.
The owner became suspicious when the gallery was recently closed and an attempt was made to contact the art dealer but was not answered.
“The dealer has taken art from people for the purpose of outsourcing or evaluating it, and then stopped all contact while selling the art without refunding to the owner or artist.” Const. Markus Anastasiades wrote in his statement.
Police soon discovered that there were some other victims who had outsourced the artwork to the dealer, and that the dealer had stopped all communications with those victims.
Over the next few days, police said they had carried out three investigation warrants at storage locations in Saanich, Oak Bay and Langford.
More than 1000 artworks found
As the investigation progressed, police said the detective had seized more than 600 works of art in the first place.
Next, there will be more than 100 works, and on the final site, more than 300 works will be found, for a total of more than 1,000 works, with an estimated value of tens of millions of dollars.
According to police, the work is currently stored in a safe place.
According to police, the art dealer, whose identity cannot be released until indicted in court, was arrested on April 21, after which he was released on several terms, and a future court day will come.
Saanich police recommend criminal accusations against art dealers who may be facing multiple frauds and camouflage.
Police said the detective was in contact with the owner of the work of art in order to return all the work of art to the legitimate owner.
If you have any information or have handed over the art to the dealer, please contact the Saanich Police by emailing [email protected]