The Manitoba government has temporarily seized a Hells Angels clubhouse in Winnipeg and is seeking court permission to take it over permanently.

Manitoba Justice has filed a statement of claim in the Court of Queen's Bench for the forfeiture of the property and its contents at 2679 Scotia St. in the city's Rivergrove area.

Justice Department spokesman Gordon Schumacher said the property has been used as a place to plan and carry out criminal activity.

"There are a number of offences that we are alleging took place here, including money laundering, breaches of the Liquor Control Act, proceeds of crime, amongst others. And it's based on those charges that were here today."

Police said the Scotia Street home has been a Hells Angels Clubhouse for just over a decade.

An interim order has allowed the province to seize the property immediately, according to a news release issued by the province.

The claim alleges the property was used as a place to plan and carry out criminal activity. That makes it subject to forfeiture under Manitoba's Criminal Property Forfeiture Act.

According to the legislation, proceeds from unlawful acts and property used in an unlawful act may be forfeited to the government by order of the court.  Along with real estate, items such as cash and vehicles can also be forfeited.

Proceeds from the sale of forfeited property are placed in a fund to support activities such as:

  • Compensating victims of the unlawful activity.
  • Remedying the effects of the unlawful activity.
  • Promoting safer communities by funding programs that reduce or prevent crime or enhance the practices and training of law enforcement agencies.
  • Covering the costs of the court application and seizing, managing and selling property ordered forfeited by a court.

Property ordered forfeited by a court can be sold, donated or destroyed.

The province hasn't indicated what it plans to do in this case.

A total of 35 statements of claim have been filed since the legislation was enacted in 2004.

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