Sunday, March 22, 2020

Drug trafficker Bruno Varin had millions in stolen art

Bruno Varin, 73, was a large independent cocaine dealer, but when he was busted in 2014, he was said to have ties to the Montreal Mafia, the Hells Angels and the West End Gang. Varin was moving 20kg of cocaine each week.

One of the group’s shipments was seized on May 6, 2014 after a pickup truck crossed the Canada-U.S. border. A dog working for Canada Border Services Agency sniffed out 123 kg of cocaine hidden inside the bed of the truck.
Cops learned Varin had hoarded a collection of about 30 paintings and bronze artworks. Some had been reported stolen more than 35 years ago. Stolen art is often used as currency among criminals. Some will accept stolen artworks at 20% of their estimated value. Varin conceded he has been involved in drug trafficking for “between 45 and 50 years.”
Varin plead guilty to eight charges including possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison. Authorities seized three cars and properties owned by Varin, and had him declared owner of a building that was in his daughter’s name.