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Quebec police crack down on alleged fraud ring

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 | 10:46 am

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Quebec provincial police have arrested four people in connection with an alleged fraud ring that appears to have international ties.

Officers with la Sûreté du Québec carried out a handful of search warrants in and around Montreal Wednesday morning.

Police said they have seized almost $50 million in assets. While no biker gang members were among those arrested, police alleged the fraud ring is tied to the Hells Angels.

The arrests are part of Project Dorade, a police operation to crack down on financial fraud, false invoices, tax evasion and money laundering.

One of the businesses where search warrants were executed is the Speedo Financial Corporation in Montreal's Rosemont district.

Speedo was fined $1.5 million in 2005 for tax evasion in a scheme linked to illegal drug smuggling. The company helped funnel money to offshore companies that created fake invoices. Those invoices helped to launder millions of dollars for a drug dealer bringing in marijuana from the Bahamas.

Police say Wednesday's arrests are also tied to a money-laundering plan. However, in this case, police allege the money being laundered was subsequently lent to companies and individuals based in Quebec.

Local authorities in Belgium and Switzerland also took part in the police operation.

Police will offer more details at a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Montreal.

CBC News

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