Monday, March 24, 2014

Criminals lose big time

March 24, 2014

Nearly $1 million tied to criminal activity was seized in two traffic stops and then successfully forfeited to the Manitoba government, to be reinvested in law enforcement agencies and victims services through Manitoba’s criminal property forfeiture fund. Justice Minister Andrew Swan (second from left) was joined by Gord Schumacher, executive director of the forfeiture fund (left), Winnipeg Police Service Deputy Chief David Thorne (second from right) and RCMP Commanding Officer Kevin Brosseau (right) to recognize these successful seizures


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Money Reinvested in Law Enforcement, Victims Services: Minister Swan

Two traffic stops have resulted in $960,000 being forfeited to the province, which will be redistributed to law enforcement and victims’ services through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund, Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced today.

“These are some of the largest successful forfeitures in the province’s history,” said Minister Swan.  “We continue to take very large sums of money out of crime and reinvest that money across the province, supporting victims, police and public safety programs.  Our ultimate goal is to reduce crime and keep our communities safer.”

The first seizure took place following a routine traffic stop near Headingley, when the RCMP seized $735,000 being transported in a vehicle.  The second seizure took place when the Winnipeg Police Service stopped a vehicle near Headingley and located $225,000 hidden in a truck bed liner.

“Each and every seizure or investigation sends a message and makes a difference,” said Assistant Commissioner Kevin Brosseau, commanding officer of RCMP “D” Division.  “Fighting crime is a joint effort.  The RCMP works closely with government, police services, communities and organizations to ensure a safer Manitoba.”

Both of these investigations were referred to the province’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Branch, which then applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench to have the money forfeited as proceeds of crime.  Under the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act, money that has been illegally obtained or used in illegal activity can be seized and deposited into the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund.  The money is then redistributed through grants to law enforcement agencies, community organizations and victims of crime.

“Working in partnership with the province continues to show great results,” said Chief Devon Clunis, Winnipeg Police Service.  “We will continue to work together to protect our communities and ensure that crime never pays.”

Last summer, over $1 million was distributed across the province to purchase specialized equipment, provide important training opportunities for officers and support community-based crime reduction programs.  The province’s victims’ services branch also received funding to support its work.  Another series of grants funded through this program is expected to be announced in the spring.

More than $7.3 million in assets have been successfully forfeited to Manitoba through criminal property forfeitures since 2010.  There are currently more than 150 forfeiture files being pursued involving vehicles, properties and cash, the minister said.

For more information about criminal property forfeitures, visit:

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