GN close to hiring a director to seize bootleggers’ and drug dealers’ profits

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The Department of Justice has made an offer to an individual in hopes of filling the position of director of forfeiture, acting Justice Minister David Akeeagok announced in the legislative assembly June 4.

“The Government of Nunavut (can) take away the profits and instruments used to break the law if it can be proven in a court of law that the property is in fact the profit or instrument of unlawful activity,” says acting Justice Minister David Akeeagok.
photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

The director will be empowered, under the Unlawful Property Forfeiture Act passed in March 2017, to seize the goods used in the crimes committed by drug dealers and bootleggers, as well as their profits. A court must prove the facts before belongings are taken away, Akeeagok noted.

Although the public is able to provide information to the director’s office, forfeitures will only rely on evidence gathered by the RCMP and other official agencies, said Akeeagok.

“The Act specifies that forfeiture funds can be used to pay for the forfeiture office costs and support victims and community projects,” he said.

Once the office is up and running in Iqaluit, one or two caseworkers may be hired if the caseload warrants it, Akeeagok added, referring to the office as an “important tool” to improve law enforcement.