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Province to seize homes alleged to be grow-ops

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Manitoba’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Act will see its first real test in the coming months as the province heads to court to seize three houses where police found marijuana grow operations.

Director of criminal property forfeiture Gord Schumacher said if successful, proceeds from the sale of the forfeited properties will be placed in a fund to compensate victims of crime, enhance the practices and training of law enforcement agencies and reduce or prevent crime.

The three properties, all located in the city's south end, were raided by city police in 2008 and found to contain marijuana grow operations, provincial officials said.

They are:

  • 4 Beaudry Bay, owned by Yan Qun Huang of Vancouver, B.C.;
  • 94 Beaudry Bay, owned by Guo Liang Deng of Vancouver, B.C.; and
  • 31 Northport Bay, owned by Jin Qing Liu of Port Moody, B.C.

Under the act, applications for civil court orders can be made to have the proceeds from unlawful acts, property bought with those proceeds and property used as instruments of unlawful activity forfeited to the government. This includes not only real estate but also items such as cash and vehicles. Property ordered forfeited by a court can be sold, donated or destroyed.

It's alleged the properties in this case were "instruments of unlawful activity."

Progressive Conservative justice critic Kelvin Goertzen said an earlier version of the legislation was enacted several years ago, but proved to be too unwieldy and had to be rejigged into its current form.

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