News release

First Case Launched Under Civil Forfeiture Law

The province has launched the first court case under new legislation that helps make sure that crime doesn't pay.

A notice of action has been filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia after $5,725 was seized during a drug raid in Sydney Mines by Cape Breton Regional Police Service.

"This partnership between the province and police is helping make sure criminals don't profit from their unlawful acts," said Justice Minister Ross Landry. "We intend to use this new crime-fighting tool many times to deter criminals and make Nova Scotia a safer place."

Cape Breton Regional Police referred the case to the Department of Justice and the new civil forfeiture unit.

"This unit gives our police officers a unique opportunity to make sure that assets obtained through illegal activity do not remain in the hands of criminals, but instead are invested towards valuable crime prevention programs," said Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Peter McIsaac. "It's one more tool we can use in our efforts to keep our communities safe."

The civil forfeiture unit has cases referred from law enforcement agencies where there is evidence of wrong-doing but criminal charges are not laid, such as bootlegging or selling stolen property. The unit seeks civil court approval to have the property or cash from the wrong-doing turned over to the province.

In cases where charges are laid, and property is not seized by an enforcement agency or forfeited by the criminal court, the unit can seize the property and ask civil court for it to be turned over.

Revenues from the program will provide financial support for crime prevention and victim services programs, and also fund the civil forfeiture unit.

The Civil Forfeiture Act and Assets Management and Disposition Act, the legislation that makes the process possible, came into force April 29.

The department will publish online updates on civil forfeiture cases at www.gov.ns.ca/just .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province has launched the first court case under new legislation that helps make sure that crime doesn't pay.

A notice of action has been filed under the Civil Forfeiture Act with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia after 5-thousand, 7-hundred and 25 dollars was seized during a drug raid in Sydney by Cape Breton Regional Police Service.

Justice Minister Ross Landry says the partnership between the province and police is making sure unlawful activities don't pay and that this is the first of many times the new crime-fighting tool will be used.

Revenues from the program will support crime prevention and victim services programs, and fund the civil forfeiture unit.

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Media Contact:

Dan Harrison
Department of Justice 902-424-0942 Cell: 902-223-7696 E-mail:
Desiree Vassallo
Cape Breton Regional Police Service 902-563-0889 E-mail: