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

Video: Sicamous Museum gifted with model of historic CP Rail hotel

Calgary family with ties to the area commissioned intricate model for museum

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Crash disrupts Highway 1 traffic west of Chase

Reports indicate crash took place near Planter Road intersection

Firefighters respond to bus fire on Highway 1

Smoke in coach bus reported to have been caused by overheating, driver and passengers safe

Update: Washed out South Okanagan road temporarily closed for assessment

A portion of Eastside Road, south of Penticton, appears to be crumbling into Skaha Lake

VIDEO: It’s warming up across the Okanagan Valley

Grey skies are expected to fade and the sun looks like it’s here to stay

Our history in pictures: Early four-way stop in Salmon Arm

This photo was taken at the four-way stop where Wharf Road intersects… Continue reading

Column: Parallel parking surveys and precedent

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Woman in hospital after being thrown off horse

She was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital from Okanagan Falls

Okanagan art gallery releases their theme

Fine arts painting will be the point of focus for this year’s event

South Okanagan search and rescue help injured climber

Search and rescue called on the assistance of a helicopter to help retrieve an injured hiker

Okanagan nature centre fundraiser goes western

Allan Brook’s Nature Centre Wine and Wild West Fundraiser is on July 6

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Most Read