A Hells Angels clubhouse on Vancouver Island, along with two others in B.C., will be seized by the province.
The move follows a decision made by three judges at the B.C. Court of Appeal Wednesday and is a large step since proceedings began in 2007.
Nanaimo’s clubhouse was seized in 2007 by the province, along with one in Vancouver’s East End and in Kelowna in 2012 on the basis that they would be used again for further criminal activity.
However, a lower court’s decision in 2020 saw the clubhouses returned, arguing that the Director of Civil Forfeiture and Attorney General had not achieved enough evidence to prove those claims.
The B.C. Court of Appeal overturned that decision saying they had sufficient evidence to believe the group would continue illegal activities at the houses.
“We are satisfied that the inference clearly arises that members’ engagement in unlawful activities was facilitated through access to information gathered surreptitiously at the Clubhouses, and protection from surveillance and detection by law enforcement offered by the Clubhouses,” read the decision.
“We are further satisfied that such use of the Clubhouses was likely to continue. There was no evidence of any change in the nature of the Hells Angels, or to the Clubhouses, that would suggest otherwise.”
The final decision saw the Nanaimo Clubhouse forfeited to the province as of November 2007 and the East End and Kelowna houses forfeited as of November 2012.
The money earned from selling the clubhouses must be paid into the civil forfeiture account.