MONTREAL, Oct. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - "C" Division of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, which is responsible for the enforcement of federal statutes
in Quebec and southeastern Ontario, is proud to be the recipient of the
IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations that was
awarded to its Montreal Drug Section by the International Association of
Chiefs of Police for an operation carried out in the open sea. The RCMP
intends to share this award with the Department of National Defence.
Last October 15, approximately fifteen law enforcement agencies from
Canada and the United States were honoured at the annual International
Association of Chiefs of Police conference in New Orleans. They were given
awards in recognition of exceptional innovation in policing programs that can
be used as models by other agencies worldwide.
The RCMP received this award for an operation known as Project
"Chabanel", a large-scale investigation that led to the seizure of
22,500 kilograms of hashish and the arrest of three conspirators linked to a
criminal organization specializing in hashish smuggling. With these arrests
the RCMP also dismantled a drug "import" cell. Moreover, the operation enabled
investigators to seize $195,000.
RCMP Criminal Operations Officer, Chief Superintendent François
Deschênes, said that he was very proud of this international award and happy
with the outcome of this major operation. "Organized crime nowadays is an
international problem that knows no borders. Deterring criminal activity by
these organizations can only be achieved through an inventive approach.
Mobilizing our interterritorial and governmental resources is now essential.
Congratulations to our police officers and to the sailors for their excellent
work throughout this operation!"
Assistance by the Department of National Defence
For the purpose of this investigation, the RCMP Drug Section developed a
highly challenging project that was unique in its kind. Since Project
"Chabanel" was to take place in the open sea, a vessel had to be chartered to
travel for 43 days at sea off the coast of Angola, Africa with a crew made up
of investigators. This project could not have been possible without the
invaluable assistance of the Department of National Defence, and the Canadian
navy. Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Fredericton, a patrol frigate with over
200 officers and sailors, sailed in support of the RCMP vessel and stood by
ready to defend it if necessary. Cmdr Gilles Couturier, who commanded HMCS
Fredericton during the operation, points out that this award is a clear
indication of the team spirit that was quickly built between RCMP officers
embarked and members of the ship's company. "We formed a team and were ready
for any eventuality," he says. "To be recognized at this level only confirms
what we already knew: the mission was a success. It is a credit to the
professionalism of all of the sailors and RCMP officers involved."
Mobilization of RCMP Officers in Canada and Abroad
Approximately 250 RCMP officers from Quebec, the Ottawa region, New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan
took part in the investigation. RCMP liaison officers in England, Morocco,
Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Spain were also called upon for
assistance. For more than a year and a half, the investigators of Montreal
RCMP Drug Section, assisted by their counterparts in Halifax, carefully worked
out every detail of this international police operation.
Two Awards in as Many Years
This marks the second year in a row that the RCMP is presented with an
award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Last year, the
Aboriginal Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit received the prestigious
Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement.
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