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Routine traffic stop results in the civil forfeiture of cash and cell phones

By Contributor
December 1st, 2013

A ‘routine’ traffic stop for speeding in February has resulted in the civil forfeiture of a large sum of cash and cell phones.

On February 27 of this year at 7:40 a.m, a member of the Central Okanagan Traffic Services was conducting stationary laser speed enforcement near Kelowna on Highway 33 East near McKenzie Road for northbound vehicles.

The officer stopped a red Volkswagen Beetle for going 86 km/h in the posted 60 km/h zone.

The driver was eventually arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance and his vehicle searched incidental to arrest.

During the search, police seized 3 cellular phones from the cab of the car as well as a backpack from the trunk found to contain two sums of cash, one of which was in a vacuum-sealed bag.

No drugs were found in the car but a Police Service Dog later ‘indicated’ on the bag, suggesting it may have been contaminated with drug residue.

The 30-year-old Kelowna man was released at the scene with a violation ticket for speeding.

Investigators referred the case to the BC Civil Forfeiture Office whose actions resulted in the forfeiture of $51,780 and three cellular phones.

British Columbia is one of two provinces that pioneered the use of civil forfeiture in Canada to deter unlawful activity by taking away instruments and proceeds of it.

Today, seven provinces have civil forfeiture programs.

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