Hells Angels clubhouses targeted in B.C. lawsuit
Clubhouses in East Vancouver, Kelowna subject of civil forfeiture claims
The B.C. Government has launched a civil lawsuit to seize two more Hells Angels clubhouses, this time in East Vancouver and Kelowna.
The claim uses the Civil Forfeiture Act, which does not have the same burden of proof as a criminal proceeding. It was used successfully to seize the Nanaimo Hells Angels clubhouse five years ago.
In the latest lawsuit the Crown alleges the clubhouses in Kelowna and Vancouver's East End are linked to extortion, assaults and even murder.
In August eight men associated with the Kelowna Hells Angels club were charged for allegedly running a marijuana and cocaine operation with links to Panama and Mexico, following a raid on the clubhouse.
Justice Minister Shirley Bond's office issued a brief statement, saying the claim comes as the result of referrals from the RCMP.
"These properties are known to police as the Hells Angels East End Chapter and Kelowna Chapter clubhouses. The claim was filed as a result of referrals to the Civil Forfeiture Office by the RCMP. It will be up to a Supreme Court justice to determine whether or not the properties should be forfeited," said a statement issued by the minster's office.
The Hells Angels Motorcycle club has not yet filed a response. The seizure of the Nanaimo clubhouse is still before the courts.
There are nine Hells Angels chapters in B.C.