BC will seize and auction luxury vehicles

The new civil forfeiture law in British Columbia (BC) was used to seize a 2008 Ferrari Scuderia, valued at $235,000, and a 2008 BMW M6, valued at $75,000. The the two drivers were caught street racing.

Reported in Canadian Law, Traffic Safety the news is that on September 25, North Vancouver RCMP stopped the blue 2008 Ferrari Scuderia speeding up Mount Seymour at about 200 km/h, and a white 2008 BMW M6 close behind it.

Police say that the drivers narrowly missed hitting a woman who was walking with two young children. The drivers received immediate, 15-day driving bans and the cars were impounded. The RCMP’s Federal Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit (IPOC) and B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) sought forfeiture of both vehicles, on the grounds that:

  • The vehicles were street racing at an estimated 200 km/h in a 60 km/h zone.
  • The drivers showed disregard for the safety of others on the road.
  • The vehicles narrowly missed three pedestrians.
  • There was potential for catastrophic injury or death.

“The kind of driving our member witnessed warranted a much more serious response than a ticket and temporary impound, and civil forfeiture allowed for that response,” said North Vancouver RCMP Supt. Tonia Enger, vice-president of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police. “Had one of these vehicles lost control, there would have been a fatality or fatalities, without question.”

Of the Ferrari sale proceeds, 50% will go to a relative of the driver who was part owner but was not involved in the incident. The Province will receive 20% and the driver, 30%. Proceeds from the BMW sale will go first to cover the costs of storage and disposal, and repaying a bank debt on the vehicle. Out of the remaining proceeds, 30% will go to the Province and 70% to the driver. From the total proceeds from both vehicles, the Province will receive an estimated $100,000.

Since 2006, B.C.’s civil forfeiture legislation has worked to take away tools and proceeds of unlawful activity. To date, cash and assets valued at more than $13 million have been forfeited to the Province, including $4.4 million