- Compensating victims of the unlawful activity.
- Remedying the effects of the unlawful activity.
- Promoting safer communities by funding programs that reduce or prevent crime or enhance the practices and training of law enforcement agencies.
- Covering the costs of the court application and seizing, managing and selling property ordered forfeited by a court.
Seized clubhouse PR
Taking away the clubhouse of the Hells Angels’ Manitoba chapter — at least temporarily — isn’t going to eliminate the outlaw motorcycle gang’s presence, a street source says.
Hells Angels members won’t have an official hangout if they lose the clubhouse but it won’t put an end to the chapter, the source said.
“It’s good PR for the police but the band will still march on even without a place to chill,” the source said.
A Hells Angels clubhouse in Oshawa, Ont., was seized by that province’s government and demolished in March. Similar seizures have occurred in other Canadian cities.
The Manitoba government’s move to take control of the biker club’s lair is the latest chapter in the back-and-forth saga between organized crime and law enforcement in Manitoba.
Lately, law enforcement seems to be coming out on top against Hells Angels members and associates.
Police have had tremendous success in finding trusted people to flip and become paid informants to infiltrate the Hells Angels or Zig Zag Crew, its so-called street crew.
Many Hells Angels members and associates are serving lengthy prison sentences or are in custody awaiting the resolution of charges.
The number of Manitoba Hells Angels members on the street is unclear.
Three long-term undercover projects — Defence, Drill and Divide — by the Manitoba integrated organized crime task force resulted in charges against more than 60 people between 2006 and 2010. The clubhouse was raided each time.
Manitoba Justice officials and Winnipeg Police Service officers moved in and temporarily seized the clubhouse at 2679 Scotia St. on Thursday under the provincial Criminal Property Forfeiture Act, a civil law that allows property used in unlawful acts to be seized by the government.
In court documents the government alleges the clubhouse was being used “as a place to plan and carry out criminal activity.”
The province has started legal proceedings to take over the secluded property. The property’s legal owner, Leonard Beauchemin, has 40 days to file a statement of defence.
The clubhouse was ALLEGEDLY used to plan and carry out criminal activities. Shouldn't the state have to PROVE the property was used as a place to plan and carry out criminal activity, instead of simply "allege"? There should be a court decision prior to a seizure. This is a clear invasion of civil liberties. Plus, it has not been proven that ALL the individuals who lived in the house were involved in this so-called planning, yet all of their items are being seized!
The house is owned by some guy that lives in Ontario.
I'm guessing that he rented the house out.
Now he has 40 days to file a statement of defence??? For what??? Charging too much rent??
To me, this is no different if I rent a property that I own to a person or persons and they do something illegal inside that house....does that mean I forfeit my house??? Makes no sense as the landlord has very little control over what is done behind the closed doors of his rented property. He/she cannot just walk in unannounced to look at what is happening at any given time. They have to give notice to the tenant.
The article states that the house has a nice layout and the yard is well kept. If I'm the landlord I would think of this as a model tenant. Rent is paid, yard is maintained.
I wonder if the government would have tried this if the house the Hells Angels rented was some $20,000 hovel on Magnus and not maintained....I think not.
Are people losing their homes they unknowingly rent to people who turn around and used them for grow operations? did the HA actively plan criminal activity from the house or were they somewhere else? How does one prove that?
I see many (including the press) state that the Hells Angels is a criminal organization and that they are all committing crimes. This is derived from the theory that some of the Hells Angels are in prison for crimes. Therefore all of them are active in that endeavour.
Okay. Based on that theory.
[Take] Winnipeg Police Service officers ... charged or convicted of serious crimes. .
The question I have is this. Did they plan those crimes in their homes and cars? Did the government seize their "stuff". Based on the logic for the seizure of the HA clubhouse the law should have taken the stuff of these officers. Also, because they were WPS officers does that mean that all WPS officers are criminals?
My point being that just because one person from a group of friends or co-workers commits a crime does not mean that everyone else is guilty too.
I know...people will not like what I say here. However, I ask these questions in an effort to get people thinking. If we let the government tread on the rights of one group, what group is next?
Freedom is important...many good people fought and died for us to have it. [edited]
Shouldnt the state have to prove the property was used as a place to plan and carry out criminal activity rather than just 'allege'?
I am no fan of HA, but there should be a court decsion prior to seizure?