Editor’s Note: The following article is yet another demonstration of the close linkage between the counterfeit cigarette trade and drug trafficking.
From: Toronto Star
Curtis Rush, Police Reporter
Eight people have been arrested and warrants have been issued for two others in what the RCMP describes as an organized crime group that shipped counterfeit cigarettes and drug-making chemicals from Asia to Canada.
The investigation began two years ago when border officers intercepted a sea container in Vancouver which contained unstamped and counterfeit cigarettes destined for Toronto.
Over the next two years, the Canada Border Services Agency, RCMP and other agencies worked to identify the individuals responsible.
During the investigation, 11 sea containers were intercepted and seized, including four in Toronto.
In total, the seizures from the 11 sea containers included 583,600 cartons of cigarettes and 6,270 kilograms of P2P, which is a key ingredient in the making of methamphetamines and amphetamines.
This investigation is connected to two previous counterfeit cigarette seizures in B.C., including a shipment seized in April, 2010 with about 50,000 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes.
It is also linked to another joint CBSA and RCMP investigation, in which more than 6,000 kilograms of P2P was seized from a shipping container from China in October 2010.
The following eight individuals have been arrested:
Ze Hua Liao, 43, of Niagara Falls, Ont.; Qiang Zhou, 34, of Markham; Hui Shen, 44, of Mississauga; Wei Shen, 43, of Niagara Falls, Ont.; Genlian Liu, 40, a Chinese national from Kettleby, Ont.; Minh Boo Lam, 51, of Maple, Ont.; Yun Sun, 44, of Markham; and Chi Wai Chan, 46, of Burnaby, B.C.
They are scheduled to appear in a Toronto court on Nov. 30.
Canada-wide arrest warrants have also been issued for Zhi Xiong Huang, 32, a Chinese national from Vancouver, and Shuting (Charlize) Lin, 36, of Vancouver.
More details are expected at an afternoon news conference in Milton.