Following the revelation earlier this week that a "prominent member of the Mafia" allegedly demanded contractor Paul Sauvé to pay $40,000 to two elected officials in order to continue his project restoring the roof of the City Hall in Montreal, the investigation into alleged ties between the construction industry and organized crime is heating up as reported by Paul Cherry for The Montreal Gazette. Apparently, the investigation, dubbed Project Diligence, had been proceeding for two years, and yesterday law enforcement investigators may have tipped their hand with a series of seizure orders and search warrants involving individuals with alleged ties to the Hells Angels and the Montreal Mafia:
The police investigation into Quebec's construction industry heated up yesterday with seizure orders placed on what police say is $10 million worth of assets belonging to a member of the Hells Angels. Searches were carried out at several addresses, including a home once linked to the Montreal Mafia. Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Claude Denis said that yesterday's work was part of a continuing investigation into the infiltration of organized crime into the construction industry in order to launder money. Investigators wanted to question 24 people yesterday but did not plan to make any arrests. * * * Many of the warrants and seizure orders carried out yesterday involved assets believed to be the property of Normand Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, 39, a member of the Hells Angels. * * * The Gazette has learned that one of the houses raided in Laval once belonged to the son of Rocco Sollecito, a leader in the Montreal Mafia who is serving an eight-year prison term for crimes uncovered in the Project Colisée investigation. He pleaded guilty last year to taking part in a general conspiracy to commit extortion, bookmaking and illegal gaming, as well as being in possession of the proceeds of crime. The younger Sollecito, who recently served a four-year prison term for being in possession of a large quantity of the drug ecstasy, is believed to have sold the house in 2007 to a convicted drug smuggler who has ties to the Hells Angels and the Mafia.
Mayor Gerald Tremblay: "There's a problem in Montreal, there's a problem in Quebec … there's corruption in the construction industry. It is a fact."