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8/27/2007
Canada: Auto, Cash Seizures Bring Big Money
Ontario, Canada Attorney General reports the province has seized or frozen $15.1 million in assets, including cars accused of street racing.

Crushed cars
After announcing earlier this month that motorists accused of speeding alone could be charged with street racing the government of Ontario, Canada released a report today celebrating the financial success of its property seizure program. Since 2003, the province has taken CAD $15.1 million in property and cash from individuals accused, but not necessarily convicted, of crimes.

In a pair of cases in 2006, police seized cash from motorists after police stopped and searched vehicles during a traffic stop. Merely carrying a large amount of cash is sufficient evidence of a crime, allowing police to keep the money. Ontario Provincial Police pocketed $99,000 from a stop near Kirkland Lake and $120,130 in cash from a stop near Marathon.

The Ontario Attorney General's report also celebrated the crushing of cars on June 16, 2006 by York Regional Police. Their drivers were accused of street racing because the vehicles had performance modifications.

"Police say both cars were substantially modified for the purpose of racing with features added to the engine and exhaust to increase power, the vehicles' road clearance lowered to increase speed and the backseats and interior panels removed to reduce the cars' weight," the report stated.

Additional grounds for seizure have been added to the law. Recent legislative changes "allow civil courts to impound and order the forfeiture, as instruments of unlawful activity, vehicles used or likely to be used by people who have two or more previous license suspensions related to drinking and driving offenses," the report explained.

The full text of the Attorney General report is available in a 1mb PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Civil Forfeiture in Ontario 2007 (Ontario, Canada Ministry of the Attorney General, 8/27/2007)

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