VICTORIA - The British Columbia government plans to strengthen its civil forfeiture law to better target drug crime and hidden assets.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says amendments to the civil forfeiture law introduced today in the legislature would expand the reach of the legal tools used to fight gangs and organized crime.

He says the proposed amendments will require people accused of criminal behaviour to prove an asset involved in a civil forfeiture proceeding is not an instrument or proceed of crime.

Farnworth says under the proposed amendments the onus will be on defendants to prove items seized in civil forfeiture cases came from legitimate sources.

He says the amendments will make the process more efficient and cost-effective, and ensure maximum amounts of forfeited funds are available to invest in community safety programs.

Farnworth says the amendments are the first significant revisions of the civil forfeiture law in 13 years.