RCMP says Montreal group laundered tens of millions in drug money

Hundreds of police officers, aided by the Canada Revenue Agency, took part in raids in Ontario and Quebec

Authorities have laid charges against 17 people allegedly involved in an extensive international money laundering network with ties to organized crime.

At a news conference today, the RCMP said the network had cells in Montreal and Toronto that collected and laundered money from Montreal criminal groups.

Supt. Martine Fontaine said the network used connections in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States and China to launder money before returning it to drug-exporting countries, such as Colombia and Mexico. She said it had the capacity to handle tens of millions of dollars.

She called the investigation one of the most important of its kind in Canada and one of the rare money laundering probes that has led to gangsterism charges.

“It is by depriving criminal groups of their money laundering networks that we will shake the very structure of organized crime,” she said.

READ MORE: Money laundered through B.C. casinos for years, report says

On Monday more than 300 officers from the RCMP and other forces, aided by the Canada Revenue Agency, took part in raids in Ontario and Quebec as part of a probe named “Collector.” They seized drugs, cash and bank accounts and restrained real estate with a total estimated value of $32.8 million.

Seventeen people face charges including conspiracy, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, gangsterism and laundering proceeds of crime.

The network’s alleged leaders, Nader Gramian-Nik, 56, of Vaughan, Ont., and Mohamad Jaber, 51, of Laval, Que., were among those arrested. Three suspects are still being sought.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Federal candidates debate environmental issues in Castlegar

Few sparks and much agreement between candidates that action is needed

Check your mail for your Voter Information Card

Your Voter Information Card identifies where you can vote in advance and on election day

WATCH: South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates answer students’ questions at Grand Forks forums

The Grand Forks Gazette filmed the all-candidates’ public forum, held Oct. 8 at Grand Forks Secondary

Grand Forks affordable housing units ready for occupancy

Tenants may begin moving in by early November

Greenwood Board of Trade to host weekly community bonfires through October

The community fires will run every Sunday from 7 to 10 p.m., starting Oct. 6

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read