Saturday, January 22, 2022

Cigarette bootlegger Giovanni Raimondi whacked

Giovanni Raimondi, 39, was whacked January 3 in Toronto. Raimondi was among seven GTA men charged with conspiracy in a cross-Canada contraband cigarette bust in June 2020. 11.5m contraband cigarettes and 1,714 pounds of pot were seized. The 16,000 cartons — collectively represented a federal, provincial and HST tax loss of $3.3m. Also seized were three handguns and ammunition, more than a kilogram of cocaine, $236,750 in cash and seven vehicles. “Project Cairnes” took place across Ontario, B.C., and Quebec. The project began as an investigation into a tobacco plant on Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. Cops say that although the manufacturing facility was located on Six Nations Territory, it was operated by what is best described as a small organized crime outfit from the GTA.
A transport trailer loaded with $1.5m of contraband cigarettes freshly-made at a Six Nations factory would regularly head west to B.C. and then return east with B.C. Bud. Raimondi was charged with several tobacco related offences, including unlawful possession or sale of tobacco products and participation in a criminal organization. Miami-based Paul Embury, 70, was charged. Cops were pursuing him for allegedly selling cigarette manufacturing equipment, as well as moving tractor-trailer loads of cut rag tobacco from the U.S. into Canada.
See ----->6.5 years for US tobacco smuggler - contrebandier de tabac
See ----->Grand River Enterprises (GRE)

Trial begins for HA Sansalone, others

Four men accused of operating a high-level MDMA and cocaine importation ring have begun to have their cases heard in pretrial hearings in B.C. court. Martino Calabretti, Daniel Alexander and Zlatko Gavric face charges of conspiracy to import cocaine. Calabretti and Vincenzo Sansalone, a full patch member of the Hells Angels' Haney chapter, also face charges of trafficking in MDMA (ecstacy) and MDA (synthetic amphetamine).
The case came after a complex investigation led by federal RCMP officers based in Kelowna. Raids came in March 2018 throughout the Lower Mainland. 12 kg of MDMA and $380k in cash was seized. More than 200 investigators, several RCMP units and U.S. cops were involved. Charges were laid in April 2021.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Dale Habib pleads guilty to gun charges

Dale Habib, former president of the disbanded Kelowna Hells Angels puppet club the Kingpin Crew, faced six firearms charges and one drug charge. After a plea deal Habib was handed a one-year conditional sentence, along with a 10-year firearms prohibition. In July 2017, Habib pleaded guilty to assault.
David Joseph Habib.
The Kingpin Crew sold drugs from Kelowna's 'Liquid Zoo' nightclub for many years, including cocaine through major operator Kevin Van Kalkeren. At some point the Habibs and the Kingpin crew lost the support of the Hells Angels. David Habib tried to sell the nightclub and building to a numbered company. An investigation revealed that one of the new owners was to be Hells Angel President Damiano Dipopolo. The Branch refused to transfer the liquor licence and the sale was unwound. The Habibs used Dipopolo's lawyer, Ms. Suzan El-Khatib for their legal needs.
See ----->The Habib Brothers and the 'Kingpin Crew'
See ----->Kevin Van Kalkeren pulls 16 years

HA boss Joseph Lancia - 5 years in Big House

It is all over for the leader of Rhode Island's Hells Angels. Joseph Lancia will serve five years in prison for a 2019 shooting involving a former prospect. The state agreed to dismiss some charges stemming from the shooting in exchange for Lancia's nolo contendere plea to felony assault and carrying a gun without a license.
The R.I. Supreme Court denied HA Joseph Lancia’s request for judges to weigh in on Associate Justice Kristin Rodgers’ decision not to recuse herself from presiding over his case. Lancia, 29, is accused of firing a gun at a truck driven by former prospect Richard Starnino.

In denying the request for recusal, Judge Rodgers said she was “entirely unaware of any involvement by my husband in tactical team training and tactics.” Prosecutors called Lancia’s request “absurd and condescending.” Lancia appealed to the state Supreme Court.
HA Rhode Island boss Joseph Lancia was shot down twice to have his judge recuse herself. Lancia was arrested in June 2019 in connection with a shooting near the clubhouse. He also faces assault charges after a cop witnessed a bar fight while he was out on bail.

Joseph Lancia
See ----->Hells Angels boss Lancia tastes freedom

Jail for 4 Russians smuggling cocaine through Argentina embassy

A former employee of the Russian embassy in Argentina, Ali Abyanov, was handed 17 years. An Argentinian cop was among those arrested.
A Russian court has sentenced four men to long jail terms for trying to smuggle 400kg (880lb) of cocaine in suitcases from the Russian embassy in Argentina in 2018. Mastermind Andrei Kovalchuk was sentenced to 18 years.
After authorities confirmed that there were drugs inside the 16 pieces of luggage, they devised a plan to catch the criminals, swapping the cocaine for flour and placing a GPS to track the luggage.

The case caused controversy in Russia at the time, when media questioned contradictory official accounts.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Two arrested for murder of HA Gregory Slewidge

Michael Clairoux in 2013.
Michael Clairoux, 47, and Lee Marrazzo, 38, were arrested and have been charged with first-degree murder for Slewidge’s death. Clairoux is a former member of the Hells Angels from Nepean. Lee Marrazzo has a history of drug convictions.
Both men were known to Slewidge.
See ----->HA Gregory Slewidge murdered

Port of Rotterdam - 'Cocaine Extractors'

The port of Rotterdam is the primary entry point for cocaine into Europe. This year authorities arrested over 450 so-called “drug extractors” at the port – young men hired to remove cocaine from containers. This was up from 280 extraction incidents reported in 2020. The extractors are smuggled into the port inside “hotel containers,” which are declared empty but contain basic living amenities. The extractors are usually young men, and are usually not hardened criminals with records. They are paid around 2,000 euros per kilo of cocaine collected. Until recently penalties were light, with small fines the norm.
That changed after a two-week period in September, where 110 were caught, several multiple times. A new law, that came into force on January 1, 2022, means any person found at the port without reason can face up to a year in jail. Authorities are also seeking to crack down on corruption inside the port that allows extractors to access the site. A CEO of a company operating at the port said his staff had been threatened to cooperate with drug extractors and some had even quit as a result. The problem is not unique to Rotterdam. Last year 13 people were busted at Belgium’s Antwerp port removing cocaine from a container.
See ----->4,178 kilos of cocaine landed in the Port of Rotterdam
See ----->Record year for cocaine at port of Rotterdam

Vancouver Island Hells Angels drug ring busted - update

HELLS ANGELS®, HAMC®, and the Death Heads (winged skull logos)® are trademarks owned by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation.
The Hells Angels’ iconic Death Head was originally created by “Sundown” in 1954. While the patent has expired, the trademarks are often defended by the club. The gear seized on Vancouver Island is notable because the skull's mouth is open. At some point the design was changed from an open mouth to one stiched shut - reflecting values of not speaking of club members or club business.
Six Vancouver Island residents have been arrested for drug trafficking on behalf of the HAMC. Four search warrants were executed on residents in the Comox Valley and Campbell River areas on Jan. 13, 2022.

The searches resulted in the CFSEU-BC seizing 3.5 kg of cocaine; $160k in cash; guns and ammunition, one vehicle and Hells Angels gear.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

TO cops land 80kg of cocaine - fully auto glock

Toronto cops landed 80 kg of cocaine, 2 kg of fentanyl, 5 kg of meth and 500 grams of heroin. Also seized was a Kel-Tec subcompact handgun with a laser sight, a Glock 26, and a Glock 19 modified for automatic fire.
Shaan Tareen was charged with 24 offences including possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a prohibited firearm and conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance. Rizwan Gharda was charged with 25 similar offences. A Toronto woman, 27, was charged with three offences related to drugs and proceeds of crime.

Redecan - update

Bloomberg is reporting ... "company (HEXO) must report positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) by the end of this month or it will default on its secured debt." Is this bad? Fuk yup. No way in hell EBITDA will be positive. And it gets worse ... "The filings state that if Hexo is in default of that convertible note deal, then High Trail can demand repayment of the loan in cash plus an 15 per cent premium and any accrued interest." Since $241m is owing that would be another $36.5m (US) gonezo.
Redecan was co-founded by Peter Montour, Will Montour and Richard Redekop in 2014. It obtained its medical cannabis license in June 2014. It was issued a licence to sell dry cannabis to medical patients in March of 2015. The company was then shopped around to capitalists. Alta Vista Ventures announced a deal to acquire RedeCan Pharma for C$9.5m, cash and paper. That deal was ammended in 2016 before falling flat. Another deal to sell Redecan also failed. At the time of HEXO's $925m acquisition 5 years later, Redecan had 57 employees.
Under the terms of the Share Purchase Agreement the $925m purchase price paid to Redecan was:
$400m due on closing paid in cash; and
$525m due on closing paid through the issuance of HEXO common shares at an implied price per share of $7.53. Redecan shareholders hold 69.7m shares or about 31% of HEXO’s issued and outstanding common shares.
See ----->
See ----->HEXO - the devils in the details

Hells Angels Mitglieder attackieren Polizisten

For those with rusty German, two cops were attacked and injured during an operation on December 4th at the Hells Angels Clubhouse in Geinsheim. On December 4th, a "potentially dangerous dog was to be secured" in the clubhouse. The police were waiting for a judicial search warrant when a group of seven rockers appeared and attacked the cops. Two men from the group punched cops in the face. Both suffered minor injuries. Another police officer was unharmed.
The boss of Hells Angels Geinsheim was said to be one of those arrested.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hamsters whacked in Hong Kong

In a troubling sign of the times, 11 hamsters tested positive for Covid-19. Authorities in Hong Kong swooped in on a pet shop and 2,000 hamsters were 'humanely culled'. Crowds gathered outside the shop as the animals were carried away in boxes. Those who bought a hamster from the Little Boss pet store since 22 December have been told to hand it over for dispatch. A pet shop employee, a customer, and the customer's spouse have now tested positive.

U.K. man goes away for cocaine cutting agent business

James Beeby, 51, was jailed for six-and-a-half years for running an operation supplying materials to dilute cocaine. Beeby, of West Sussex, was sentenced after being convicted in November. 320 kilos of the cutting agent were recovered by cops. More than 1,370 kilos passed through his hands. Beeby tried to portray himself as a legitimate businessman selling the chemicals for legal uses. He supplied cutting agents to clients in the UK, the US and Canada. Substances used to cut cocaine are adulterants or substitutes. Adulterants like baking soda and laundry detergent are used to get more doses.
Substitutes, such as lidocaine and procaine, produce effects similar to cocaine at lower cost.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Niger seizes record 200kg of cocaine from mayor's car

A local mayor and his driver have been arrested in a desert in northern Niger with more than 200kg (440lbs) of cocaine in their vehicle. The two suspects were said to be transporting the drug to Libya after it had been smuggled into the country from Mali. It is the largest quantity of cocaine ever seized in the West African country. 199 bricks of cocaine weighing a total of 214kg was found in a vehicle belonging to the mayor's office in Fachi. Drug smuggling and police seizures are becoming more common in the region.
The vehicle had left Fachi and was heading towards Libya and the town of Dirkou when it was stopped. Fachi is an oasis in the Tenere desert about 400km (250 miles) north of the town of Agadez. It is known as a trading centre for salt and dates.
The region is used as a route for multiple types of trafficking, including illegal migrants.

Irish 'cardboard gangster' whacked over $50k drug debt - Revisited

Zach Parker, 23, found his calling by trafficking cocaine. He quit his job as a barber and peddled drugs. He was an up-and-coming drug dealer on Dublin's northside and an associate of the notorious ‘Mr Flashy.’ He was targeted by a hitman and blasted with 5 shots as he sat in his BMW in 2019.
Parker was enjoying the high life as a drug dealer and had just returned from a trip to Dubai, home to the Kinahans. Parker was the next victim of a gangland machine that sucks in the naïve and spits them out: jailed, addicted or dead. A relatively small quantity of drugs bought on credit but then lost to cops creates a debt. If a debt cannot be repaid, that debtor may be killed simply as an example to others. Police say Parker's murder was connected to a $50k drug debt.
The Kinahan-Hutch feud rocked Dublin's underworld, with 23 murders.
See ----->Irish Mob boss “Mr Flashy” - David Glen Ward

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Grand River Enterprises (GRE)

Peter Montour, Mike Tyson, Jerry Montour
Ken Hill was the co-founder, along with Jerry Montour and his father Peter, of Grand River Enterprises in 1993. They turned GRE into a global player in the cigarette trade. By 2004 sales were $202m. 10 years later it exceeded a billion. It costs less than 24 cents to make a pack of 20 cigarettes which sell for 40 times that.
The company is the largest employer on the Six Nations reserve.

Tobacco is a $10b a year industry in Canada alone. The key to GRE's success is Section 87 of the Indian Act. Goods made and sold on reserves, including cigarettes, are exempt from tax. This lowers costs, giving those who sell Indigenous cigarettes a huge financial advantage.
According to court documents Ken Hill paid no income tax on his self-reported income of $5.3m in 2013 because of Indian Act exemptions. Brittany Beaver, mother of his son who received a court order for child support of $33k a month from Hill, was trying to determine his wealth. Hill eventually revealed his car collection was valued at $5.58m, his 2010 Lazzara 76-foot yacht worth $2.76m and his Sea Ray Sundancer, $939k. He had a private jet leased, naturally. Hill had five other children by four different women — Joshua, Ryan, Jasmine, Gabriella and Jordan. Ken Hill died suddenly in January 2021 at age 62.
Jerry Montour held the greatest share of GRE at 30 per cent. In 1988, Peter and Jerry Montour were convicted of conspiracy to import pot and were sentenced to jail in Canada. The father and son were described as the key players in a drug smuggling operation that arranged to have 37 kg of pot transported from Mexico to Canada. Peter Montour and another man were also charged in 1988 with attempting to import marijuana but the charges against Montour were dropped when the other man offered to act as a police informant to help solve a cold case murder. Peter Montour was convicted of cigarette smuggling in 1997 and fined $640k, believed to be the largest penalty ever for smuggling in Ontario.
In 1997, Peter Montour and two other men were charged with extortion and uttering death threats in an alleged attempt to extort $4m from a former Oakville businessman. The charges were eventually stayed.

GRE and four of its shareholders pursued a $3 billion lawsuit against Ottawa for forcing them to incorporate and lose their tax-exempt status. Ultimately, the partners decided they wouldn’t risk prison. GRE agreed to incorporate and pay excise taxes, and in 1997 it received its licence.
The State of California sued GRE in 2017. The state alleges GRE failed to comply with tobacco sales laws and illegally sold cigarettes. The lawsuit is the latest in a list launched by U.S. states against the company. GRE was sued by Ohio — a lawsuit that ended in 2011, when GRE paid close to $1m. New York also sued GRE.
See ----->1 in 3 cigarettes sold in Ontario are contraband
See ----->Smoking out Canada’s illegal tobacco