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

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

Sidewalk Trio reuniting at The Oaks

The next Blues for Eric scholarship benefit concert is Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read