The Surete du Quebec has arrested ten individuals "allegedly tied to what authorities say is a vast money-laundering operation headed by the Hells Angels biker gang" in the construction industry as reported by Rhéal Séguin for The Globe and Mail:
Another four individuals were being pursued by police, including the purported head of the scheme, Hells Angels member Normand Marvin Ouimet. According to police, Mr. Ouimet had been trying to take control of masonry companies by using threats, intimidation and extortion. The plan, police say, was to create a consortium of masonry companies as part of a conspiracy to corner the market and help the biker gang launder drug money through false consulting contracts for construction projects. Police seized more than $9-million in financial assets, including homes, bank accounts and building projects, as part of an investigation that began in 2007. Among the suspects are a union representative, businessmen and building contractors. Accountants and real-estate agents were part of another scheme, police say, to use land development projects to launder dirty money as part of a web of illegal activities plotted by the biker gang. Portfolio managers allegedly were used to funnel the money to overseas bank accounts. A total of 147 charges have been laid against the individuals. Sûreté du Québec Inspector Michel Forget said it was the biggest money-laundering operation ever encountered by the police, and that there was more to come.
Paul Cherry for The Montreal Gazette reports that "Ouimet was already one of the 10 most wanted men in the province, because of murder and drug trafficking charges produced in April in Operation SharQc." Among those arrested today are:
Guy Dufour, 42, a representative with the Quebec Federation of Labour’s construction wing; real estate agent Roberto Amato, a 55-year-old convicted drug trafficker; and Jerry Purdy, 60, of Blainville, who is alleged to have ties to the West End Gang.
Video: CTV Montreal: SQ makes arrests in construction probe