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

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Two B.C. suspects of a Canada-wide manhunt reportedly recorded a cellphone video… Continue reading

North Island drug deaths spike, rate second-highest in B.C.

Area spanning north from Comox Valley trails only Vancouver in fatal overdose rate

Dead Vancouver Island man identified, shoes and backpack missing

Investigators say body found in Saanich was Victoria’s Andrew Michael Sidor

Four years, no answers in murder of Deedee Brown

Chemainus-area teen was last seen with friends on Penelakut Island in summer of 2015

Protester threatens citizens arrest during morning federal funding announcement in Oak Bay

$4.3 million to protect at-risk species and their habitats, Uplands Park declared heritage site

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Parksville man, 75, goes missing from north Nanaimo home

Police dog services called in to help with search

Restrictions ordered to save fish in parched Cowichan Valley river

Province says Koksilah River fish populations under threat due to low water flows

Tow strap trips up Victoria cyclist

Police looking for witnesses to incident where cyclist hit line connecting vehicles

North Island wildfire listed as out of control

But Sara Lake blaze near Port Alice expected to be under control soon

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Graffiti clean up costs Victoria businesses roughly $1M a year

Business association teams up with city in campaign to reduce graffiti in downtown

PHOTOS: Hundreds welcome HMSC Regina home to Vancouver Island

Navy ship returns to Esquimalt after nearly 6 months at sea

Most Read