More Arrests linked to Illegal Gaming and Platinum Sportsbook

TORONTO, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) has executed 13 search warrants and arrested 18 people as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal gaming.

The first stage of this operation occurred on February 3, 2013, when officers from CFSEU and assisting agencies entered an illegal gaming event held at Le Parc Dining and Banquet Hall.  Found inside were approximately 2,300 people who had been invited to an exclusive Super Bowl event centered around illegal gaming.  Patrons were found using computer terminals supplied by organizers of the event, placing illegal online wagers through the Platinum Sports Book website.  That evening six people were arrested and charged with gaming-related offences, 10 search warrants were executed at various locations throughout the GTA and in London, ON, and more than $2.5 million in cash along with offence-related property was seized.

The second stage of this operation occurred today when officers from CFSEU and assisting agencies executed an additional 13 search warrants throughout the GTA and in London.  As a result of today's operation, officers have arrested 18 people and seized approximately 1.5 million dollars cash, bank documents, computers and betting Documents. Two handguns, one taser and four vehicles were also seized as offence related property.  The investigation is on-going and additional arrests are anticipated.

Pending charges are in relation to participation in a criminal organization, conspiracy to commit criminal offences, fail to comply and proceeds of crime offences.

This two-year, joint-forces investigation centered around the criminality related to illegal gaming, the activities of Platinum Sportsbook and the violence associated to these criminal activities.  This investigation began as a result of a complaint from a person who said they were being extorted for money they owed to this group.  Police allege that if money borrowed from this organization could not be repaid, exorbitant interest rates were imposed; the borrowers were then unable to get out from under this mounting debt.  Violence was often used in an attempt to recoup money owed.

"The presence of organized crime groups brings an element of criminality to our communities.  Illegal gaming, drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion, intimidation and weapons offences among others, put our citizens at risk," said Superintendent Keith Finn (officer in charge CFSEU).  "Members of the CFSEU are committed to keeping our communities safe and ensuring people committing these crimes are held responsible."

If the public has information related to the activities of this group, including if you or your family members have become indebted to this organization, members of the CFSEU would like to speak to you.  Please contact CFSEU at 1-800-387-0020.

For photos from the Feb. 3rd seizures, visit: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/on/news-nouvelles/index-eng.htm

The CFSEU is a multi-jurisdictional operation, which includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police, the Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police and the Durham Regional Police Service.  CFSEU is specifically tasked with the mandate to expose, investigate, prosecute and dismantle organized criminal enterprises.


SOURCE: Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit

For further information:

CFSEU Media Relations
416-992-4409

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Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit

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