Fentanyl tablets seized by police in Calgary. (Black Press files)

B.C. moves to make seizure of drug dealers’ assets easier

Law reverses onus if cash, cars, real estate found with illegal drugs

B.C. is following the lead of other provinces to make it easier to seize cash and assets found by police with street drugs or other evidence of organized criminal activity, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Farnworth introduced changes to civil forfeiture legislation Tuesday to reverse the onus from police to people found with large quantities of drugs and other assets.

Farnworth said his amendments have been vetted by police and constitutional lawyers, who have seen a series of challenges to B.C.’s efforts to declare real estate, vehicles and cash as proceeds of crime and seize them whether the owners are convicted or not.

“We know that organized crime is a real problem,” Farnworth told reporters at the B.C. legislature after introducing the amendments. “People are sick and tired of the idea that criminals can engage in this and get all these assets. They may face jail time, but those assets are still there.”

READ MORE: Hells Angels clubhouses frozen for forfeiture trial

READ MORE: Abbotsford brothers can’t appeal fentanyl conviction

“For example, right now, if police were in your place and find a kilogram of fentanyl and $100,000 worth of cash in the safe, the onus is on the province, or is on the police to prove that that $100,000 is as a result of proceeds of crime,” Farnworth said.

“What these amendments will do is change the onus to place it on you to prove that that $100,000 is not criminal proceeds. So it will make it much easier to deal with cases where police come across significant amounts of drugs as well as large amounts of cash.”

B.C. is also focused on tracking of money and real estate, to get a better grip on money laundering.

“Some of the other amendments will make it easier to be able to trace financial transactions and the transfer of assets, particularly assets coming into the province from out of country,” Farnworth said. “Again, that will assist police in terms of issues such as money laundering and organized crime in general.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read