TORONTO – Toronto police are crediting condo residents in Etobicoke and hotel cleaning staff with leading them to millions of dollars linked to crime.
The financial crimes unit held a news conference on Thursday to display the cash, as well as pictures of dozens of vehicles, a boat, marijuana and other property it has seized since the beginning of the year as part of “Project Accountability.”
“This is not just about our office today…but it’s [also] about how the community can get involved and has gotten involved to assist us in those seizures,” Det. Const. Dwayne King of the asset forfeiture section said.
“This has been a banner year for the Toronto Police Service and seizures. Currently we’ve seized just in excess of $5.5 million. Almost $2.6 million of that — almost half of that — came as a direct result of people calling the police when they saw something suspicious.”
King said the condo residents had called about suspicious men in their Etobicoke complex, and the hotel cleaning staff had turned in bags of cash they had found in a room.
The asset forfeiture section works to hold property owners accountable for grow-ops, crack houses, booze cans and the like, which it says are a drain on police resources.
It investigates not only buildings linked to crime, but also evidence and proceeds of crime, and decides whether to return the property or hold on to it.