Money laundering is a criminal activity that involves individuals depositing funds, usually gained from illegal activities, through different businesses and then withdrawing them. Such crimes can often be complex and difficult to solve but not impossible. A recently released report suggests that one person, believed to be involved in drug trafficking, laundered proceeds through casinos across Winnipeg, Canada.
As announced by CTV News, a year-long investigation into the criminal activity resulted in the arrest of a person who was allegedly involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs, including cocaine and fentanyl. A 30-year-old man from Winnipeg with the initials M.R.H. was arrested on September 19, 2023, and charged for his alleged involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering.
Once he was arrested, the Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) executed a search warrant on his home. Reportedly, police found a large number of drugs, including 882 fentanyl tablets, 498 grams of crack cocaine, 26 gabapentin pills as well as 241 Percocet tablets. Additionally, law enforcement uncovered 348 tablets with unknown substances along with cash.
Ill-Gained Funds Were Laundered through Casinos
The arrest comes after a long operation by the Manitoba RCMP. Last year, law enforcement was contacted by the gambling regulator in the province, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, which flagged suspicious activities recorded across casinos in Winnipeg. This prompted the Mounties to launch a large-scale investigation against the illicit activity that involved drug trafficking and money laundering. The operation was called Project Doom.
The investigation uncovered that drugs were distributed to remote First Nation communities, including St. Theresa Point, Island Lake, Garden Hill and Red Sucker Lake, among others. Additionally, drug trafficking occurred in neighboring North Spirit Lake in Ontario.
According to the investigation, the suspect who was arrested was allegedly involved in drug trafficking. Through the illicit activity, the individual was able to accumulate large sums of cash which were then laundered through casinos by cashing in and out gambling chips. The Mounties did not confirm the total sum involved in the criminal activity, but it is believed that it was substantial.
After the suspect was arrested, he was released on CA$50,000 bail ($36,500) with special conditions, including a prohibition from visiting gambling venues. It’s important to note that the charges against M.R.H. are yet to be proven in court, which means that he remains innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.