BRITISH COLUMBIA

Tung Sheng Wu, Illegal Dentist, Held Before Transport To B.C.

11/18/2013 01:47 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.
TORONTO - A B.C. man cited for contempt for illegally practicing dentistry is being held in custody in Toronto as authorities prepare to take him back to B.C.

Tung Sheng (David) Wu was sentenced to three months in jail earlier this year after a judge convicted the 62-year-old man of contempt of court for ignoring a 2003 court order to stop practising dentistry without a licence.

Wu didn't show up for that court hearing so he was convicted in absentia and was the subject of a Canada-wide warrant.

Dubbed the "bedroom dentist," Wu turned himself in to Toronto police over the weekend and in court today was remanded until Friday, unless authorities arrange to transport him back to B.C. before then.

Crown attorney Warren Thompson told court that B.C. has six days to return him there or Wu can be released.

Wu spoke little, except to say he hoped to go back and didn't want his picture taken.

"When I go back to Vancouver may I ask not to report and take pictures by public and media?" Wu said.

The judge explained that's for the courts in B.C. to address. Wu said he did not have a lawyer.

Late Monday, the College of Dental Surgeons in B.C. said it had obtained an order from a B.C. Supreme Court judge that Wu be brought back to British Columbia.

"We anticipate that B.C. sheriffs will soon be headed to Ontario to collect Mr. Wu so he can appear in front of the judge to answer for his contempt and to serve his sentence," the college said in a news release.

While the unusual facts in the case captured the public interest, we can't lose sight of the fact that this is a public safety issue, the news release said.

"We renew our call for anyone who has seen an illegal dentist to visit a doctor so they can be tested for hepatitis B and C virus and (HIV)," the college stated.

In May, the college uncovered an illegal dental operation in the Vancouver-area and warned hundreds of people to get tested for blood-borne illnesses such as hepatitis and HIV.

The college believes Wu performed dental work on more than 450 people.

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