Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sureté du Quebec Operation Tarantula (Mygale) nets 60 crooks

The Sûreté du Québec announced Wednesday morning they are involved in worldwide raids targeting contraband tobacco, drug trafficking and money laundering. Police expect to arrest up to 100 people Wednesday in Quebec and Ontario as they break up an international money laundering ring. In what the Sureté du Quebec is calling Operation Tarantula (Mygale), officers have spent months investigating an organized crime ring spanning North America, South America, and Europe.

Police say biker gangs collaborated with aboriginal criminals to smuggle tobacco and drugs, and to launder money. Raids involving 700 police officers are also taking place north of Montreal, in Ste. Therese and Ste. Marthe sur le lac, in Kahnawake, and in Ontario.
They said the operation is the largest to be conducted in North America.

70 raids were conducted in and around Montreal, on the Montreal-area reserve of Kahnawake and on the Ontario reserve of Six Nations. Police say the individuals would buy tobacco in the United States and import it illegally before selling it on the two reserves.

Police confiscated 52,800 kilograms of tobacco, $1.5 million in Canadian cash, $3 million U.S., cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and fentanyl. The organization imported more than two million kilograms of tobacco between August 2014 and this month and defrauded authorities of $540 million in revenue.