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ICBC sold grow-op trailers


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CBC News

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia recently sold three utility trailers that had been used as marijuana grow-ops — with many of the illegal modifications still in place, a CBC News investigation has revealed.

Photographs of the trailers show they were offered for sale with their walls still sealed in foil, irrigation pipes still in place, grow-lights hanging from the ceilings and portable fans still sitting on the floor.

The photographs were removed from the insurance corporation (ICBC) website after the corporation learned of the CBC investigation.

At least one of the trailers was sold in the Lower Mainland last week for just over $3,000, the investigation found.

The corporation insures drivers and vehicles in B.C. The trailers had been reported stolen by the original owners, who received insurance payouts from ICBC. After the trailers were recovered by the RCMP in a May drug raid, ICBC was deemed to be the legal owner.

"We shouldn't have a crown corporation reselling marijuana grow operation equipment," criminologist Darryl Plecas of the University College of the Fraser Valley told CBC News.

"Dumb. Just plain dumb," Plecas said.

The RCMP said it is not responsible for taking the grow-op equipment out of the trailers prior returning them to ICBC.

"It is just impossible to seize all of the equipment," said Cpl. Richard De Jong.

"We ensure that the equipment that is needed for the prosecution is taken out," De Jong said. "We just cannot take everything."

An ICBC spokesperson said the corporation has learned from the experience.

"We share the concern people have about this material being used for illegal purposes and we'll be working with the police going forward to ensure this doesn't happen again," said media relations manager Mark Jan Vrem.

Jan Vrem said ICBC has offered to buy back the trailers from the new owners.


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