Volume 94, Issue 52

Thursday, November 30, 2000


NEWS

New fund opens door for Western

York strike turns ugly

Law faculty boosted with new scholarship program

Alliance faces problem of uniting the right

Campus Briefs

New bill aims to seize mob profits

New bill aims to seize mob profits

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

Members of organized crime could be feeling the pinch if new provincial legislation is passed that gives police the ability to seize organized crime profits.

Ontario Attorney General, Jim Flaherty, put forth a bill at Queen's Park this week that will allow provincial law enforcement to seize mob profits and make them available to special police units and crime victims, said spokesperson for the Attorney General, Brendan Croley.

He said Canada's legal system has always been seen as a safe haven for black market activity and that most citizens are unaware that they are being affected by organized crime.

"The Attorney General said part of the bill's idea would be to make [the seized profits] available to those that have been victimized, as well as give police funds to set up units to help combat this problem," he said.

Croley said the goal of the bill is to stop organized crime from making illegal profits. "If you take [the profits] out of organized crime, [criminals] will not pursue it any more," Croley said.

London Police Const., Ryan Hollan, said although it is still early, the London Police are anxious to see the exact wording of the legislation. "We would welcome the additional [financial] resources to help us in the fight against organized crime."

Holland said recent raids on massage parlours in London, thought to be run by organized crime, show that a significant amount of illicit operations are rooted close to home.

"Another perfect example are the bikers who are a well known group involved in the sex trade, prostitution and narcotics," he said.

We work very hard to combat this problem and if this bill makes us eligible for some of those funds, then it is an option we are very interested in pursuing."

Peter Barton, a professor of law at Western, said he had not read through the legislation, but from what has been reported, he feels it may be difficult to ensure the bill would be constitutionally permissible.


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