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Edmonton police, CRA raid several properties tied to alleged ‘criminal organization’

Click to play video: 'Raids by Edmonton police and CRA' Raids by Edmonton police and CRA
WATCH: There are plenty of questions about multiple raids across Edmonton coordinated by police and the Canada Revenue Agency. As Vinesh Pratap reports, one area that was targeted has been in the police spotlight before – Jul 25, 2019

Following a six-month investigation, Edmonton police and the Canada Revenue Agency on Wednesday raided multiple properties around the city, including in southwest, southeast and north Edmonton.

One of the other locations investigators converged on was a string of commercial properties along 111 Avenue near 93 Street at the north end of the McCauley neighbourhood.

“The warrants are in relation to a group of property owners that have allegedly been operating as a criminal organization in the city of Edmonton for many years,” Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Scott Pattison said in a statement.

READ MORE: 2 Edmonton neighbourhoods snag dubious distinction of most nuisance property complaints in the city

McCauley resident David Williamson was alerted to the police presence and immediately made his way to the area.

“When I got there, there was police tape for half a block,” said Williamson, who took numerous photos of the police and CRA activity.

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A property along 111 Avenue near 93 Street in the McCauley neighbourhood, which was raided by the Edmonton Police Service and Canadian Revenue Agency on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Courtesy: David Williamson
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A property along 111 Avenue near 93 Street in the McCauley neighbourhood, which was raided by the Edmonton Police Service and Canadian Revenue Agency on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Courtesy: David Williamson
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A property along 111 Avenue near 93 Street in the McCauley neighbourhood, which was raided by the Edmonton Police Service and Canadian Revenue Agency on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Courtesy: David Williamson
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A property along 111 Avenue near 93 Street in the McCauley neighbourhood, which was raided by the Edmonton Police Service and Canadian Revenue Agency on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Courtesy: David Williamson

 

One of the photos shows the arrival of a man well known to police, Carmen Pervez, also known as Abdullah Shah.

Pervez is a well-known Edmonton landlord and convicted drug trafficker, who was also convicted of a $30-million mortgage fraud in 2008.

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Edmonton landlord Abdullah Shah, also known as Carmen Pervez, behind a property along 111 Avenue near 93 Street in the McCauley neighbourhood, which was raided by the Edmonton Police Service and Canadian Revenue Agency on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Courtesy: David Williamson

Pervez has in the past been accused of failing to maintain properties he has owned. Properties attached to his name have been declared unfit for human habitation.

This is isn’t the first time the commercial property on 111 Avenue has been raided by police. In 2016, drugs and weapons were seized during multiple raids at 9317-19 111 Ave., resulting in charges.

READ MORE: Controversial Edmonton landlord, 2 others face charges after nearly 2 pounds of meth seized

In 2018, the charges against Pervez were dropped by the Crown due to the unlikely prospect of a conviction.

WATCH BELOW: A 2016 police raid on a property at 9317-19 111 Ave. near downtown Edmonton, where a large quantity of drugs was seized.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton landlord charged after drug seizure' Edmonton landlord charged after drug seizure
Edmonton landlord charged after drug seizure – Apr 1, 2016

Edmonton police and the CRA would not confirm if the properties raided on Wednesday were still under the same ownership, with the tax agency citing confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act. Neither would say why the properties were raided.

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“Following the execution of a search, the CRA must file a report with the courts, at which time the details will become part of the public record,” Etienne Biram with the agency’s media relations team said, noting the filing of a report could take up to 90 days, depending upon the quantity of information seized.

“Criminal investigations undertaken by law enforcement bodies, including the CRA, can be complex and often require months or years to complete.”

READ MORE: Central Edmonton residents lose fight against landlord with criminal history

Pervez’s lawyer, Paul Moreau, would not confirm if the properties were still owned by Shah/Pervez, saying, “I believe that at least two of them are, in fact, not owned by him, but I cannot confirm.” Moreau had no comment otherwise.

Through his lawyer, Pervez also declined comment to Global News.

Back in McCauley, the police tape had come down by Thursday, but many still continue to talk about the raid.

“Why we sort of have to put up with [this] slum-type structure is not acceptable,” Williamson said.

In addition to the raids in the McCauley neighbourhood, police also carried out raids on Heath Road in southwest Edmonton’s Haddow neighbourhood, as well as at an address near Castle Drive and 180 Avenue, near 76 Street and 161A Avenue, and near 43 Avenue and 34 Street.

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With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News. 

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