Money laundering is a serious problem in Canada, according to Denis Meunier, author of a C.D. Howe Institute report on the subject.
Three Laval individuals were arrested Tuesday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for laundering more than $18 million related to Colombian drug trafficking.
Yan Trépanier, 49, of Laval , Andrew Barera, 35, of Montreal, and Michael-Joey D'Opéra, 27, were arrested on July 5 after an extensive joint investigation with U.S. authorities.
It all started in March 2020 following information received from the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA). After the start of our investigation, we were able to carry out five searches a few months later, in July 2021, explains Tasha Adams, Corporal at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The locations targeted are the private residences of the three defendants, as well as two other locations. One included an apartment that served as a cash cache. Our officers seized over $46,000 concealed, along with two firearms, high capacity magazines, silencers, smart phones and tablet computers. Not to mention money counting machines and accounting books, adds the senior RCMP officer.
“Our investigation tends to show that the main partners of the defendants are mafia organizations located in Colombia.
—Tasha Adams, RCMP Corporal
The three Laval residents were laundering money, according to the RCMP, by managing the proceeds of cocaine trafficking from criminal organizations in Colombia.
It is important to remember the gravity of the consequences of money laundering for Canadians. Too often, this type of crime is associated with white-collar crime without victims. But it's wrong, the corporal is keen to mention.
Money laundering not only has an impact in the country's economy, but this scheme illegal is used to fund criminal activity on our streets. One only has to think of the criminal organizations that use the proceeds of crime to arm themselves and cause a feeling of insecurity in the population, adds the police officer.
This statement is reminiscent of the fact that in the past 12 hours, two shootings have broken out in the greater Montreal metropolitan area, first in Repentigny where, according to our information, a 16-year-old year-old was shot in the abdomen and two more in the back at Langelier Park.
Then in Montreal North, where another teenager was shot in the calf, according to our police sources, during gunshots on Pascal Street.
As for the three Laval individuals arrested by the RCMP, they will appear on July 15 at the Montreal courthouse.
They will face charges of laundering proceeds of crime, conspiracy to import and possess narcotics for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of ;prohibited weapons and devices.