$24 million in cannabis, cash seized in southern Ontario money laundering investigation: RCMP

Hamilton-Niagara RCMP say over $24 million in cannabis and cash was seized in recent GTHA raids tied to a money laundering scheme. Nathalie Sturgeon / Global News

Five people have been charged in connection with a drug trafficking and money laundering scheme operating throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA) and Niagara Region over four years, according to police.

Hamilton-Niagara RCMP say about 30,000 cannabis plants along with dried cannabis and about $1 million in cash were recently seized in a raid at a farm and three Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residences.

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Investigators say the haul, estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $24 million, is tied to a four-year investigation into an alleged money laundering scheme using casinos in the GTA and Niagara Region.

The probe was launched after the discovery of $3 million laundered from the illegal sale of over 8,000 pounds of cannabis in 2017.

Five residences and six large-scale marijuana grow operations in southern Ontario were identified and targeted for police actions in June.

Each of the accused is facing multiple charges, including possession for the purpose of selling, cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Police did not name any specific casinos or how the laundering scheme worked since the investigation is ongoing.

Detectives are still seeking information related to the probe and can be reached through the Ontario RCMP or Ontario Crime Stoppers.

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