Article by Betsy Powell, The Toronto Star
The Attorney General is seeking a forfeiture order for almost $600,000 seized from the carry-on luggage of an alleged pot dispensary courier waiting to board a flight to Vancouver at Pearson airport in January.
“There are reasonable grounds for the court to find that the property that is the subject of this proceeding is the proceeds and/or instrument of unlawful activity within the meaning of the Civil Remedies Act,” reads the notice of application filed in Superior Court last month.
Peel police allege the currency “appears to be associated with illegal storefront marijuana dispensaries,” based on the large sum bundled in a suitcase “rather than in an account with a financial institution where it would accrue interest,” according to a supporting affidavit filed in court.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The forfeiture application names as respondents Yacob Issayas, the alleged money courier, and his employer, DMG Management Group. Also named is Nadine Gourkow, a director of 2501615 Ontario Ltd. and Canna Clinic Medicinal Society.
As part of its ongoing enforcement effort against illegal pot shops, the city of Toronto is also seeking an injunction to close B.C.-based Canna Clinics, which has seven outlets in the city, for contravening zoning bylaws. The injunction application also names Ivan Noe Gourkow-Schulkowski as a corporate operator.
Toronto lawyer Paul Lewin, who represents Canna Clinics, says he plans to “vigorously fight” both the forfeiture application and injunction. He declined to comment further. Both matters are set to be heard in September.