Quebec, U.S. police, RCMP bust drug, illegal tobacco ring with ties to bikers, reserves

Click to play video: 'Police raids target international contraband tobacco ring'
Police raids target international contraband tobacco ring
WATCH ABOVE: Police carried out more than 70 raids in two provinces, in a crackdown on an international crime ring spanning North America, South America and Europe. Jacques Bourbeau has the details – Mar 31, 2016

MONTREAL – Quebec provincial police, along with several local police forces, the RCMP and American authorities, conducted an international raid targeting contraband tobacco, drug trafficking and money laundering.

The operation, titled Project Mygale, involved about 700 police officers who searched 70 businesses and homes in and around Montreal, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, the Montérégie and the Six Nations in Ontario.

Kahnawake Mohawk Peacekeepers aided in the voluntary surrender of three people on the reserve.

About 60 people who are believed to have ties to biker gangs and organized crime in the native community were arrested.

According to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), the contraband tobacco was bought in the U.S. and illegally brought into Canada through the border crossings at Lacolle, Landsdowne and Forte Erie to be sold on the reserves.

Sûreté du Québec

“This project is the largest operation we’ve had to this day in connection to contraband tobacco, but also in fighting crime across Canada and the United States,” said Captain Frédérick Gaudreau with the SQ.

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Officers confiscated:

  • More than 52,800 kg of tobacco, valued at $13.5 million.
  • More than $1.5 million in cash from illicit transactions in Canada.
  • Almost US$3 million in cash.
  • 836 kg of cocaine.
  • 21 kg of methamphetamines.
  • 100 g of fentanyl.
  • 15 kg of cannabis.

Police say between August 2014 and March 2016, more than two million kg of tobacco was illegally imported into Canada, worth about $530 million.

A list of those arrested so far:

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