Collecteur Project: a vast money laundering network dismantled

Montréal, Quebec – Yesterday, RCMP police officers arrested 17 individuals involved in a vast international money laundering network. This major investigation targeted a criminal organization in Montréal and Toronto. The raid mobilized more than 300 police officers and partners.

The investigation was led by the Integrated Proceeds of Crime unit, in cooperation with RCMP investigators from Ontario and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The investigation was conducted from 2016 to 2018 following information received from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

An elaborate money‑laundering scheme
The network’s members facilitated the collection of money from criminal groups in Montréal and then laundered the results of their illegal business. In particular, the network offered a money transfer service to drug exporting countries.

The network moved money that was collected in Montréal through various individuals and currency exchange offices in Toronto. The network used an informal value transfer system (IVTS) with connections in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States and China. The funds were then returned to drug exporting countries, such as Colombia and Mexico.

Drug seized
Drug seized

This procedure allowed for the laundering of significant amounts of money originating from illegal activities, including drug trafficking. The criminal organizations could thus import drugs through this network.

The scheme set up by the network for criminal purposes was identified and dismantled.

Money seized
Money seized

Proceeds of crime seized

During the investigation and the searches, police officers seized significant quantities of drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, hashish and methamphetamine, for a market value of close to $2.2 million. Bank accounts and money in Canadian and foreign currencies was also seized, for a value of $8.7 million. The CRA also proceeded with the restraint of six properties, of an estimated value of $15 million. The RCMP also seized a considered offence-related property of an estimated value of $7 million. To date, the estimated value of the assets that were seized or restrained is more than $32.8 million.

The CRA also proceeded with the restraint of six properties, of an estimated value of $15 million
The CRA also proceeded with the restraint of six properties, of an estimated value of $15 million

Individuals accused

Charges were laid against 17 individuals, including the two individuals who are the network’s alleged leaders, Nader Gramian-Nik, 56 years old, from Vaughan (Ontario cell) and Mohamad Jaber, 51 years old, from Laval (Quebec cell).

Quebec cell

Mohamad Jaber, 51 years old, Laval

Kamel Ghaddar, 39 years old, Laval

Eric Bradette, 36 years old, L’Assomption

Sergio Violetta Galvez, 43 years old, Laval

Alexei Parasenco, 26 years old, Montréal

Victor Vargotskii, 56 years old, Montréal – WANTED

Victor Vargotskii
Victor Vargotskii

Mario Maratta 64, years old, Sainte-Sophie

Sorin Ehrlich, 62 years old, Montréal

Gary Maybee, 57 years old, Austin

Francisco Javier Jimenez Guerrero, 35 years old, address unknown – WANTED

Francisco Javier Jimenez Guerrer
Francisco Javier Jimenez Guerrer

Ontario cell

Nader Gramian-Nik, 56 years old, Vaughan

Tania Geramian-Nik, 28 years old, Vaughan

Frederick Rayman, 71 years old, Unionville – WANTED

Frederick Rayman,
Frederick Rayman,

Sahar Shojaei, 45 years old, Thornhill

Thomas Hsueh, 47 years old, Thornhill

Mohammadreza Sheikhhassani, 55 years old, Richmond Hill

Shabnam Mansouri, 38 years old, Maple

These individuals are facing a number of charges:

conspiracy

possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking

instructing the commission of an offence for a criminal organization

commission of offence for criminal organization

trafficking in property obtained by crime

laundering proceeds of crime

Three individuals arrested during yesterday’s operations were also interrogated and released without charges.



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