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.
“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.
- 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.