RCMP says Montreal group laundered tens of millions in drug money

Hundreds of police officers, aided by the Canada Revenue Agency, took part in raids in Ontario and Quebec

Authorities have laid charges against 17 people allegedly involved in an extensive international money laundering network with ties to organized crime.

At a news conference today, the RCMP said the network had cells in Montreal and Toronto that collected and laundered money from Montreal criminal groups.

Supt. Martine Fontaine said the network used connections in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States and China to launder money before returning it to drug-exporting countries, such as Colombia and Mexico. She said it had the capacity to handle tens of millions of dollars.

She called the investigation one of the most important of its kind in Canada and one of the rare money laundering probes that has led to gangsterism charges.

“It is by depriving criminal groups of their money laundering networks that we will shake the very structure of organized crime,” she said.

READ MORE: Money laundered through B.C. casinos for years, report says

On Monday more than 300 officers from the RCMP and other forces, aided by the Canada Revenue Agency, took part in raids in Ontario and Quebec as part of a probe named “Collector.” They seized drugs, cash and bank accounts and restrained real estate with a total estimated value of $32.8 million.

Seventeen people face charges including conspiracy, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, gangsterism and laundering proceeds of crime.

The network’s alleged leaders, Nader Gramian-Nik, 56, of Vaughan, Ont., and Mohamad Jaber, 51, of Laval, Que., were among those arrested. Three suspects are still being sought.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

DanceFusion brings dads and daughters to the stage

Thirty-one fathers and daughters participate in a dance that is goofy, sentimental, and at times very funky.

Music and meditation event coming to Moving Centre

Immersive musical journey features Celtic/Chinese harpist Eily Aurora and multi-instrumentalist Evan Freeman

Seven West Kootenay projects receive over $1.7 million in provincial funding

The RDCK, Civic Theatre and Touchstones Museum are among the recipients

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read