By Alfa · Dec 22, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa

    Currently Being Sought In Lebanon, Spain For Offences Related To Drug Trafficking

    A globe-trotting drug trafficker with ties to Montreal's Mafia is expected to be paroled soon.

    But Samir Rabbat might not be looking forward to his future outside a Canadian penitentiary.

    Rabbat, 56, was once described by police as one of the top 10 drug traffickers in the world, with links to men like Vito Rizzuto, the reputed head of Montreal's Italian Mafia.

    The National Parole Board recently decided Rabbat could be granted early, or accelerated parole.

    Inmates convicted of crimes not involving violence have access to the process that can potentially see them granted day parole after serving one-sixth of their sentence and full parole after one-third.

    In Rabbat's case, the release date appears to be irrelevant as he is expected to be deported to either Spain or Lebanon as soon as he is released.

    In 1996, Rabbat was wanted in connection with a conspiracy to smuggle 3,500 kilograms of hashish into Canada.

    He managed to avoid capture until October 2002, when he was arrested in Colombia, where he is alleged to have dealt weapons with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a left-wing rebel group.

    The Egyptian-born, former Montreal resident was eventually brought to Montreal, where he pleaded guilty to taking part in the smuggling conspiracy on July 8 and was immediately sentenced to nearly 30 months.

    But even though he will be paroled soon, Rabbat won't be a free man.

    The parole board report details how a detention order has been issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada requesting he remain incarcerated. An immigration official who participated in Rabbat's parole hearing said he probably faces deportation.

    He is currently being sought in both Lebanon and Spain for offences related to drug trafficking.

    In Lebanon, he is being sought in an indictment alleging he tried to smuggle 250 kilograms of hashish out of the Port of Beirut on Feb. 3, 2001. The hashish was packed in chick pea and bean cans destined for Canada.

    When the indictment was issued, Lebanon's chief investigating magistrate said he would seek prison sentences between three and 15 years, including hard labour.

    During the time he was sought on the Canadian warrant, authorities believed Rabbat operated out of Marbella, Spain.

    During the 1990s, the police suspected Rabbat was getting much of his hashish through Pakistan from Rehmat Shah Afridi, the owner of an English-language daily newspaper in that country. This year, Afridi was sentenced to death for two narcotics convictions.

    According to court documents, Rabbat was investigated in 1991 along with Rizzuto, 58, as suspects in Operation Bedside, an RCMP probe into in the importation of 450 tonnes of hashish from Lebanon. Rabbat and Rizzuto were taped having telephone conversations on two occasions in May 1991.

    By then, the police had estimated Rabbat had smuggled more than 110 tonnes of hashish into Canada between 1984 and 1991.

    In 1972, Rabbat was arrested in France attempting to ship mattresses full of marijuana to Canada.

    In 1982, he was arrested in Montreal in connection with a $381-million drug bust made in Greece that had the RCMP following suspects across Europe.

    Rabbat, then 34, was arrested just as he was putting the finishing touches to a $500,000 house in Montreal's Cartierville district. The house was being built just a few blocks from Rizzuto's.

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