Canada Goes After Hell's Angels Clubhouses

     VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - British Columbia wants to shut down two Hell's Angels clubhouses, claiming the bikers use them to facilitate criminal activity, including drug trafficking, assault, extortion and murder.
     The province's Director of Civil Forfeiture claims in B.C. Supreme Court that two properties - one in East Vancouver and one in Kelowna - are owned by club members who are either registered owners or who "hold an unregistered beneficial interest" in the properties.
     According to the complaint, "some or all" of the defendants are members of the Hell's Angels East End Chapter or the club's Kelowna Chapter.
     "One of the main purposes of the HAMC and/or several of its chapters and/or portions of its membership in Canada, including members of the chapters described below, is the facilitation or commission of serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of material benefits by some or all of the persons who comprise the HAMC or its chapters," the complaint states. "The HAMC is affiliated with several other motorcycle clubs which have similar purposes to its own. Some members of these clubs and other individuals who aspire to become members of the HAMC contribute to or participate in the commission of serious offences for the benefit of and/or at the direction of members of the HAMC."
     The East End and Kelowna clubhouses, according to the complaint, "have been modified, customized and equipped to provide protection from detection, potential enemies and police infiltration."
     The clubhouses allegedly shield club members and associates from prosecution by providing a "safe environment" to "engage in unlawful activities" including assault, extortion, murder, and production and trafficking of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.
     Proceeds from the alleged criminal activity "have been applied to maintain, improve or reduce the indebtedness against" the clubhouses, the complaint states. If the defendants are allowed to maintain ownership of the clubhouses, the director claims the properties will continue to be used for criminal activities which "would be intended to or may in fact result in the acquisition of property, and/or serious bodily harm to a person."
     Defendants include Jean Violette, Ronald Cameron, John Bryce, Mitchell Riley, Michael Mitchell, Stanley Gillis, Kelly Schofield, Michael Christiansen, John Punko, Kim Harmer, Hans Kurth, Joseph Skreptak, Lester Jones, David Giles, Richard Goldammer, Robert Thomas, Norman Cocks, Michal Zikmund, Brian Oldham, Greg Holomay and Damiano Di Popolo.