Seized Nanaimo Hells Angels clubhouse to be demolished Wednesday: minister

Click to play video: 'Former Hells Angels clubhouse demolished'
Former Hells Angels clubhouse demolished
A former Hells Angels clubhouse in Nanaimo, one of three seized by the provincial government under the Civil Forfeitures Act, has been torn down. Kylie Stanton reports – Nov 15, 2023

A notorious clubhouse once owned by the Hells Angels in Nanaimo, B.C., is slated to be demolished on Wednesday.

The demolition, announced in a media release by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, concludes a decade-long legal battle between the outlaw biker club and the province.

Farnworth said the properties had been used to “co-ordinate criminal activities.”

Click to play video: 'Hells Angels loses appeal on clubhouse sales'
Hells Angels loses appeal on clubhouse sales

“The message we are sending is organized crime, you can run and hide, but we are going to take your assets,” Farnworth said Wednesday.

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“We said we were going to confiscate the assets of criminal activity. That’s exactly what’s happening. And I think this is a measure the public support.”

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The province seized three Hells Angels clubhouses, one in Nanaimo, one in Kelowna and one in East Vancouver, in April.

That move came after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling in favor of B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office, which has the power to seize personal or real property determined to be the proceeds of crime or used in the commission of a criminal offence through the civil court system.

Click to play video: 'B.C. seizes three Hells Angels’ clubhouses'
B.C. seizes three Hells Angels’ clubhouses

The Hells Angels unsuccessfully tried to appeal the decision to both the B.C. Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

In October, it was revealed the province was putting the three seized properties up for sale.

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“The reality is the Hells Angels are the centre of organized crime in this community and have been for a long time, and I think the entire approach of civil forfeiture has been extremely successful,” Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said.

“I encourage the province to do much more,

Farnworth said the seizures were “only the beginning” of a crackdown on organized crime, touting new Unexplained Wealth Orders as a tool to pursue “ill-gotten gains.”

Those orders, announced in March, require people suspected of unlawful activity to explain how they acquired assets valuing more than $75,000.

The province collected $9.7 million through its civil forfeiture program last year alone.

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