Que­bec cops bust al­leged to­bacco smug­glers ring

Cape Breton Post - - PROVINCE -

MON­TREAL — Que­bec pro­vin­cial police say about 60 peo­ple have been ar­rested for al­legedly be­long­ing to an in­ter­na­tional ring of con­tra­band to­bacco smug­glers. Au­thor­i­ties say they are mem­bers of a highly struc­tured crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion that has ties to biker gangs as well as to crim­i­nal groups in na­tive com­mu­ni­ties. About 70 raids were con­ducted in and around Mon­treal, on the Mon­treal-area re­serve of Kah­nawake and on the On­tario re­serve of Six Na­tions. Police al­lege the in­di­vid­u­als would buy to­bacco in the United States and im­port it il­le­gally be­fore sell­ing it on the two re­serves. They say they con­fis­cated 52,800 kilo­grams of to­bacco, $1.5 mil­lion in Cana­dian cash, $3 mil­lion in U.S. funds, co­caine, metham­phetamines, cannabis and fen­tanyl. Police es­ti­mate the or­ga­ni­za­tion has im­ported more than two mil­lion kilo­grams of to­bacco and de­frauded au­thor­i­ties of $540 mil­lion in rev­enue.

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