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Major drug bust linked to Montreal port nets $860M in hashish, 7 arrests

By YIPMAN, Apr 19, 2012 | Updated: Apr 20, 2012 | |
    MONTREAL- Seven people are scheduled to appear at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday afternoon in connection with a massive drug bust involving the seizure of more than 43 metric tonnes of hashish.

    The RCMP estimates the value of the hashish seized to be worth more than $860 million. The hashish was seized from containers at different points in time before and after the investigation, dubbed Celsius, was initiated. Eight people in all were supposed to be arrested on Wednesday. The RCMP is still trying to locate Sylvain Parent, a 39-year-old man from Gatineau.

    The RCMP’s C Division, based in Montreal, said the investigation into the hashish was conducted with the help of police in Pakistan, Italy, Belgium and the U.S. According to a release issued by the RCMP “such a large quantity of hashish could have supplied every resident of a city of 10,000 with a daily dose for more than 11 years.”

    The investigation began after Canada Border Services Agency found hashish in offshore containers at the ports of Montreal and Halifax in 2009 and 2010.

    The RCMP suspects that employees “performing various duties with companies at the Port of Montreal Terminal Cast were involved in the organization.”

    One of the seven men expected to appear at the Montreal courthouse is believe to be a member of a longshoreman’s union.

    Another of the men arrested, Alain Charron, 63, of Val Morin, is known to have extensive ties to organized crime and was once suspected of being a hitman for the Dubois Gang. He pleaded guilty, in 2002 to being part of another huge hashish shipment. In 2005, when he was preparing for his stator release, he told the Parole Board of Canada that he was “saturated” with living a life tied to organized crime.

    The case involved a 27-tonne shipment seized in Canada in 1990. He has also served a lengthy prison term in the U.S. for cocaine trafficking.

    During the 1980’s Charron was charged with four different murders, believed to have been carried out for the Dubois Gang, but he was acquitted in all four cases.

    More details to come.

    THE GAZETTE APRIL 18, 2012

    Additionally see: VIDEO - Montreal Hash Bust


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