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Helen Is the BombCriminal Organization Offences, section 467.1

Although it may be generally perceived that organized crime constitutes as 'the mob' or 'biker gangs', among other groups engaged in large scale criminal activity, recent changes the Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C., 1985, c.  C-46, definition of organized crime may involve as few as three people so long as such persons engage in agreement where one of the main purposes or main activities is the commission of serious offences, being indictable offences punishable by at least five (5) years imprisonment, and regardless of whether such crimes actually are committed.  Additionally, actual participation in the wrongdoings is unnecessary whereas a person who merely counsels or encourages the actual participants is considered a party to the wrongdoing.

Specifically, the Criminal Code states:

467.1   (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

criminal organization means a group, however organized, that

(a) is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and

(b) has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group or by any of the persons who constitute the group.

It does not include a group of persons that forms randomly for the immediate commission of a single offence.  (organisation criminelle)

serious offence means an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, or another offence that is prescribed by regulation.

Facilitation

(2) For the purposes of this section, section 467.11 and 467.111, facilitation of an offence does not require knowledge of a particular offence the commission of which is facilitated, or that an offence actually be committed.

Commission of offence

(3) In this section and in sections 467.11 to 467.13, committing an offence means being a party to it or counselling any person to be a party to it.

As for penalties for involvement within a criminal organization, where such involvement constitutes as any contribution that aids in any criminality of the organization, a punishment up to a maxium five (5) years imprisonment may result.

Participation in activities of criminal organization

467.11 (1) Every person who, for the purpose of enhancing the ability of a criminal organization to facilitate or commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament, knowingly, by act or omission, participates in or contributes to any activity of the criminal organization is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Prosecution

(2) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (1), it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that

(a) the criminal organization actually facilitated or committed an indictable offence;

(b) the participation or contribution of the accused actually enhanced the ability of the criminal organization to facilitate or commit an indictable offence;

(c) the accused knew the specific nature of any indictable offence that may have been facilitated or committed by the criminal organization; or

(d) the accused knew the identity of any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization.

Factors

(3) In determining whether an accused participates in or contributes to any activity of a criminal organization, the Court may consider, among other factors, whether the accused

(a) uses a name, word, symbol or other representation that identifies, or is associated with, the criminal organization;

(b) frequently associates with any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization;

(c) receives any benefit from the criminal organization; or

(d) repeatedly engages in activities at the instruction of any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization.

Furthermore, persons recruiting members to enhance the abilities of the criminal organization to commit indictable offences is also an offence:

Recruitment of members by a criminal organization

467.111 Every person who, for the purpose of enhancing the ability of a criminal organization to facilitate or commit an indictable offence under this Act or any other Act of Parliament, recruits, solicits, encourages, coerces or invites a person to join the criminal organization, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable,

(a) in the case where the person recruited, solicited, encouraged or invited is under 18 years of age, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months; and

(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Commission of offence for criminal organization

467.12 (1) Every person who commits an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

Prosecution

(2) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (1), it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that the accused knew the identity of any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization.

Instructing commission of offence for criminal organization

467.13 (1) Every person who is one of the persons who constitute a criminal organization and who knowingly instructs, directly or indirectly, any person to commit an offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, the criminal organization is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

Prosecution

(2) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (1), it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that

(a) an offence other than the offence under subsection (1) was actually committed;

(b) the accused instructed a particular person to commit an offence; or

(c) the accused knew the identity of all of the persons who constitute the criminal organization.

Summary Comment

Where as few as three people combine for the primary purpose of committing offences where such offences are indictable offences punishable by at least five (5) years of imprisonment, the three people can be said as engaging in organized crime.  Additionally, among other things, the elements requiring proof are without requirements that;

  • The requisite indictable offence was actually committed; and as such, merely planning the requisite indictable offence is 'enough'; 
  • The three people all actually planned or participated together in the underlying offences so long as there is collusion amongst the three people; and as such, where Person A colludes with Person B and Person C, and does so separately and independently without direct collusion between Person B or Person C, such remains as organized crime; and
  • The three people may be without full knowledge of each other or full knowledge of the role of each other.    
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