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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.
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