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Alcohol from bootleggers intercepted in northern Saskatchewan: RCMP

RCMP say they seized a “large quantity” of beverage alcohol passing through the Moose Island checkpoint and heading toward Wollaston Lake, Sask., last week. Saskatchewan RCMP / Supplied

Tips provided by the public are helping RCMP intercept the delivery of alcohol intended for resale in northern Saskatchewan.

Officers said they were alerted to a vehicle carrying a “large quantity” of beverage alcohol passing through the Moose Island checkpoint and heading toward Wollaston Lake, Sask., on Feb. 26.

Read more: RCMP lay multiple bootlegging charges in northern Saskatchewan

The vehicle was and stopped by Wollaston Lake RCMP and alcohol was seen inside in plain sight, according to a press release.

Further investigation resulted in the seizure of 36 26-ounce bottles of whiskey, one 66-ounce bottle of vodka and three coolers, police said.

“What happens is people will go south, they’ll buy a great deal of alcohol, beverage alcohol, similar to this case. They’ll bring it up to the community and then sell it for an exaggerated price,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Rob King said over the phone on Tuesday.

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“It’s definitely dangerous for the community that’s elected to not accept alcohol into their communities.”

Two of the vehicle’s three occupants were charged with bootlegging, according to the press release.

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In August 2020, Wollaston Lake RCMP reported intercepting “substantial” alcohol seizures five times over two consecutive weekends.

King said the problem isn’t specific to Wollaston Lake though.

“I think it’s a problem throughout the north, since there are very few liquor outlets. A lot of the communities up in the north are considered dry communities because the community has taken the steps to recognize the damage that alcohol has done with their communities,” he said.

“I think a lot of communities have recognized the damage that can be done with a large amount of alcohol suddenly dumped in their community … and they provide us information which enables us to conduct investigations and cases, such as this, investigations are successful and charges able to be laid.”

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Wollaston Lake is roughly 850 km north of Saskatoon.

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