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.

BC legislatureopioids

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

B.C. Rugby announced its return to play plan July 7

South Surrey man to bike across Canada

Last minute decision to take Rajiv Dhaliwal on three-month journey

White Rock RCMP reviews street checks for racial bias

Report indicates checks are being conducted bias-free

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read