Pubdate: Thu, 12 May 2011 Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC) Copyright: 2011 Abbotsford News Contact: http://drugsense.org/url/BkAJKrUD Website: http://www.abbynews.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1155 Author: Vikki Hopes, Abbotsford News CIVIL FORFEITURE CLAIM FILED AGAINST ABBOTSFORD GROW-OP HOME An Abbotsford home is the subject of a civil forfeiture claim in B.C. Supreme Court, with the provincial government alleging the residence was purchased with the proceeds of crime. The three-storey home is located at 3302 Siskin Drive and is registered to Iqbal Singh Gill, Sarmukh Singh Gill and Harbans Kaur Gill, who purchased the property in May 2003, according to the notice of civil claim. The director of civil forfeiture alleges the two-storey garage of the home was used as a marijuana grow-op from the time of the purchase until March 2011. Proceeds from the sale of marijuana were used toward the home's down payment, mortgage, property taxes, improvements and maintenance, the claim states. The home was busted by Abbotsford Police on March 17 of this year and was allegedly found to contain more than 1,000 marijuana plants, 52 lights, a handgun, a submachine gun, an assault rifle, ammunition, $4,000 in cash and a device for obtaining electricity without it being metered. The B.C. Civil Forfeiture Act was passed in 2006, permitting the provincial government to apply to court to obtain property that was obtained through criminal activity. If a judge decides a property must be forfeited, it can then be sold and the proceeds used by the government for victim compensation, crime prevention activities, crime remediation activities, and administration of the act. Two homes in Abbotsford that housed grow-ops were seized by the government in 2007 - one on Simpson Road and the other on Willet. They were sold, the mortgages paid off, and $230,000 was paid to the government. A 2004 Hummer H2 that was seized from a Victoria man who was convicted of drug and weapon offences has been used by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) since February for anti-gang messaging. The vehicle was transformed into the black-and-white theme of the APD. Police lights and a "skin" of anti-crime graphics and messages were added. Last year, the civil forfeiture office concluded 74 cases and secured 18 properties, six vehicles and 56 sums of cash, according to the provincial government. Since Jan. 1 of this year, police have referred 60 new files, and more than 200 cases are ongoing. The net value of those assets is $22.6 million. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.