Federal government to take on organized crime

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Montreal – The federal government has announced its plans to target organized crime in Canada by introducing new regulations that will designate several activities common among criminal groups as serious crimes.

The regulations announced Aug. 3 in Montreal will make common organized crime activities, including illegal gambling, specific prostitution and drug-related crimes serious crimes.

Canada’s Justice Minister Rob Nichols said the fact that that an offence is committed by a criminal group makes it a serious crime, but the new regulations will help police and prosecutors to use the full tools available to them.

“We must ensure that those on the front line have every tool necessary to the unique challenges facing them,” Nichols told the media.

A total of 11 criminal activities have now been deemed serious crimes:

  • Keeping a common gaming or betting house
  • Betting, pool-selling and book-making
  • Committing offences in relation to lotteries and games of chance
  • Cheating while playing a game or in holding the stakes for a game or in betting
  • Keeping a common bawdy-house
  • Various Controlled Drugs and Substances Act offences which relate to the trafficking, importing, exporting, or production of certain scheduled drugs

The federal government believes the additions to the Criminal Code will allow law enforcement and prosecutors to better curb organized crime.

Before the new regulations, some criminal activities common among organized crime groups did not meet the legal definition of a “serious crime” under the Criminal Code because the offences were not offences punishable by five year or greater sentences.

This meant that police and prosecutors could not use specific, powerful, and appropriate Criminal Code offences that prohibit organized crime activity or special procedures available in organized crime investigations and prosecutions, including peace bonds, bail, wiretaps, parole eligibility and proceeds of crime.

the change in regulations will open those avenues to law enforcement and prosecutors.

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