HAMILTON, ON, Dec. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - On December 8th, 2016, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) and US Homeland Security Investigations – Border Enforcement and Security Taskforce (HSI-BEST), Buffalo, NY took enforcement action in Project OHABIT.
Project OHABIT was a joint forces investigation that focused on a criminal organization allegedly involved in the smuggling of truckloads of contraband tobacco into Canada from the United States. The group's smuggling activities were allegedly facilitated by a CBSA border services officer working at the Peace Bridge, Fort Erie, Ontario supported by other elements of organized crime.
Arrests and seizures were done simultaneously in Canada and the United States.
"Ensuring the integrity of Canada's borders is a priority for the RCMP and the CBSA each and every day and is important to a safe and secure Canada" stated RCMP Inspector Todd Gilmore, Officer in Charge of the RCMP Hamilton Niagara Regional Detachment. He added "the success of this investigation demonstrates the RCMP's strong national and cross-border relationships and underscores what law enforcement can achieve by working together to detect, reduce and prevent organized crime in our country."
"The Canada Border Services Agency takes its border protection responsibilities very seriously," said Rick Comerford, CBSA's Regional Director General in the Southern Ontario Region. Although this matter is very serious, it is an isolated incident and in no way reflects the integrity and professionalism of the thousands of dedicated CBSA officers who carry out their duties each day in an exemplary manner."
This investigation is still on going and further arrests may be made.
Arrested and Charged in Canada:
- Chad Gale, 37, of Welland, Ontario was arrested and charged for Breach of Trust by a Public Officer contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.
SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police
For further information: Media Contact: Sgt Penny Hermann, RCMP Media Relations, 905-876-9571 office, 416-992-4409 cell phone; Insp. Todd Gilmore, OIC RCMP HNRD, 905-643-5730 office, 905-515-3799 cell phone; Pam Mintern (CBSA), CBSA - Southern Ontario Region Media Relations, 1-844-580-3636, [email protected]