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Media Contacts

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Media Relations
250 213-3602


Facts on civil forfeiture in B.C.
  • Property that is the proceeds or an instrument of unlawful activity may be forfeited pursuant to the Civil Forfeiture Act.
  • Since 2006, police have referred more than 11,000 files to the Civil Forfeiture Office due to evidence the property was associated with unlawful activity. Most files referred to the CFO involve drug-trafficking offences connected to gangs and organized crime.
  • When there is reason to suspect property was acquired through or used in unlawful activity, the BC Supreme Court may issue a UWO requiring the person to explain the legitimate income sources for the property. UWOs are not an order to forfeit property, they are an order to provide information that may then be used in civil forfeiture proceedings.
  • The information gathered from UWOs will only apply to civil forfeiture proceedings. The information cannot be used in criminal proceedings.
  • All recoveries from successful forfeitures are used to cover the cost of CFO operations with any remaining funds disbursed as crime-prevention grants and victim services organizations throughout B.C. Since 2006, the CFO has disbursed $70 million in crime-prevention grants.