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Arrests in Calgary and Vancouver following organized crime sting

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Seven people, including three from Calgary, may face charges in connection with a lengthy investigation into organized crime implicated in laundering millions of dollars, officials said.

The Calgary branch of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) and the RCMP Federal Serious Organized Crime Team say they have dismantled a money laundering operation that was being carried out with the support of the country’s largest organized crime group.

Officials said Project Collector, a three-year-long investigation that began in Calgary, resulted in the indictment of seven people and the seizure of $16 million in bank accounts, property and vehicles.

ALERT said criminal groups were transporting criminal proceeds between Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, and determined that $24 million in cash was transferred through the operation in one year alone.

“This particular survey is unlike any other survey ALERT has previously conducted,” ALERT CEO Mark Cochlin said Wednesday.

“Money laundering is a sensitive crime and difficult to detect, let alone investigate.”

Law enforcement learned of the operation in July 2018, when a $1 million dollar destined for Vancouver was intercepted in Calgary.

Project Collector discovered that the criminal group involved was operating a “pseudo bank branch”. This allowed them to transfer large amounts of money without being detected. According to authorities, these sources of funding were primarily drug trafficking.

“A total of 10 house search warrants were executed in the Calgary area, Toronto area and Vancouver during the course of the investigation,” ALERT said in a statement.

According to police, 71 charges have been filed, including joining a criminal gang, laundering criminal proceeds and trafficking criminal property. There were also offenses under the Criminal Proceeds and Terrorist Financing Act.

The following persons were arrested and charged in September:

  • Lien Ha, 42, from Calgary.
  • Donald Huang, 26, from Vancouver.
  • Van Duc Hoang, 64, from Vancouver.
  • Van Thi Nguyen, 62, from Vancouver.
  • Cynthia Nguyen, 42, from Calgary.
  • Yuong Nguyen, 43, from Calgary.When
  • Grace Tan, 25, from Vancouver.

“I stole cash from a crime”

Money laundering is a crime used by organized groups to justify funds obtained for illegal purposes, officials said. Police say the man behind the arrest was an illegal banker who ran an illegal bank for organized crime, diverting drug funds for legitimate purposes such as the real estate business, and having a major impact on the daily lives of Canadians. I am giving

“The impact of money laundering is pervasive throughout our society, with far-reaching political, social and economic consequences,” said Jason Bobrowich of Insp. Calgary Police. “For Project Collector, this money laundering was done to support some of Canada’s largest criminal groups.

“Let’s be clear: Project collectors took the cash out of crime. We closed accounts for some of Canada’s largest organized crime groups.”

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community should call their local police or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers are always anonymous.

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