OTTAWA, Ontario, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As reported by numerous news organizations, in the wake of the currently ongoing Operation Mygale by Canadian and U.S. law enforcement in Quebec and Ontario against massive drug and contraband tobacco traffickers, the National Coalition against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) is making its spokesperson available for comment.
WHAT: Operation Mygale comment and contraband tobacco background information
Guy LaPointe, Quebec Provincial Police: 514 598-4848
And / Or:
Carlos Godoy, National Coalition against Contraband Tobacco: (613) 233-8906 ext 230; (514) 458-9660 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN: Wednesday March 30, 2016
HOW: By telephone
Additional Details From Canadian Law Enforcement Officials:
Contraband Tobacco – Major Strike by the Sûreté du Québec and its Partners
30 March 2016
Quebec's Provincial Police Crime against the state investigations Service through its Contraband Investigations Division, in collaboration with its Canadian and American partners, executed several search warrants and made several arrests this morning as part of project MYGALE.
Nearly 60 individuals belonging to a highly-structured criminal organization that is linked to outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG) and to First Nations organized crime were arrested. In addition to these arrests, nearly 70 searches were carried out in residences and businesses located mainly in greater Montreal and the Laurentides, Lanaudière, and Montérégie regions, as well as on the Kahnawake and Six Nations Ontario reserves.
The investigation suggests that individuals bought tobacco in the United States and imported it illegally into Canada via the border crossing stations of Lacolle, Lansdowne, and Fort Erie, in order to sell it on the Kahnawake territory in Quebec and Six Nations in Ontario.
According to Captain Frédérick Gaudreau, head of the Sûreté du Québec's Federal Crimes Investigation Division, "Project MYGALE is the largest operation carried out to date in America, not only related to contraband tobacco but also to cross-border crime between Canada and the United States."
Annie Beauséjour, director of the Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), added that "Each of us has a role to play as well as an area of expertise, but together, we are all working toward a common goal : the security and well-being of our fellow citizens. Working as a team enables us to more efficiently counter the methods and techniques used by organized crime to bypass the CBSA's border controls."
During the investigation, significant seizures were made:
- More than 52,800 kg of tobacco, representing fraud of approximately 13.5 M$
- More than 1.5 M$ in cash from illegal transactions in Canada
- Nearly 3 M$ in U.S. dollars
- 836 kg of cocaine
- 21 kg of methamphetamine
- 100 g of Fentanyl
- 35 lb of cannabis
According to documents, the criminal organization imported at least 158 shipments into Canada between August 2014 and March 2016, for a total of 2,085,600 kg of tobacco (or 2294 tons). This quantity represents a fraud of more than 530 M$ to both levels of government.
Nearly 700 police officers were mobilized for this operation, in addition to employees of the CBSA. In addition to members of the Sûreté du Québec, members of the following groups are participating : The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Montreal City Police, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Administration, and the municipal police forces of Laval, Longueuil, Deux-Montagnes, Richelieu-Saint-Laurent, Châteauguay, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Roussillon, Thérèse-de-Blainville, Blainville, Saint-Eustache, Saint-Jérôme, Mascouche, Mirabel et Terrebonne.
This investigation was launched through the ACCES Tabaco program in collaboration with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
ACCES Tobacco is a program that was created by the Québec government in order to combat illegal tobacco commerce. Its goals, in particular, are to support the integrity of Québec's tax system and to recover income owed to the government; to reduce supply and demand for illegal commerce; and to reduce unfair competition and increase integrity.
ABOUT THE NCACT
The National Coalition against Contraband Tobacco is a Canadian advocacy group formed by organizations and associations concerned about the growing danger of contraband cigarettes. NCACT members share the goals of working together to educate people and urge government to take quick action to stop this growing threat.
SOURCE National Coalition against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT)