A new law that the provincial government says will further blocks criminals from profiting from their crimes has come into effect.
Under the Criminal Asset Management Act, prosecutors can pursue criminal forfeiture more frequently, rather than rely on civil forfeiture, which has been criticized by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association because it doesnt rely on criminal charges or convictions.
Ministry of Justice deputy director Michael Van Klaveren said that criminal forfeiture can be pursued in concurrence with a criminal investigation.
"The minute you lay charges, you coincidentally restrain all the assets you later want to forfeit," he said. "You'll have a prosecution and then you will have forfeiture hearings."
As an example, he said the vehicle of a suspected street racer can be seized and later forfeited.
Moreover, in contrast to civil forfeiture, he said property outside of Canada can be pursued under the Act.
Civil forfeiture, which was introduced in B.C. in 2006, can still be pursued after the criminal process has been exhausted or if a decision has been made not to pursue criminal forfeiture.
In July, the provincial government's civil forfeiture director filed a notice of civil claim seeking more than $270,000 in allegedly ill-gotten gains from Joey Lamont Arrance, a former Prince George man police say has ties to organized crime.
Arrance's girlfriend, Kirsten Sabrina Campbell Fredin and the estate of her now-deceased mother, Linda Joyce Fredin, are also named in the claim.
The new law, which was passed by the legislature in May, came into effect on Sunday.