Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Criminal Organization Definition:

Members of a group of three of more persons involved in organized crime.

Related Terms: Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

In the Criminal Code of Canada, circa 2012, this statutory definition, at §467.1(1):

"Criminal organization means a group, however organized, that is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and 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."

In R. v. Violette, Justice Romilly of the Supreme Court of British Columbia added:

  • "There are three or more persons in or outside Canada who are connected to each other in a group, however organized.
  • "The group has committing or facilitating serious offences as one of the main purposes of the group’s existence - You need not be satisfied that the only purpose or activity of the group is criminal, but rather that criminality is one of its main purposes or activities.
  • "The group itself or its members would likely receive, directly or indirectly, a material benefit from its criminal purpose or activity. The benefit has to be material in the sense that it must be important and can include, but is not limited to, a financial benefit."1


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