Blue Line

News
Winnipeg police seize $13.3M in assets during trafficking investigation


February 24, 2021
By Canadian Press

Feb. 24, 2021 – Police in Winnipeg have made what they say is the largest asset seizure in their history after a 10-month investigation into a cocaine trafficking ring calling itself the Company.

Insp. Max Waddell said 13 people were arrested earlier this month in relation to cocaine being moved from British Columbia to Winnipeg.

“The impact of this investigation will ensure the reduction of acts of violence, property crime and, most importantly, the reduction of overdose deaths,” Waddell said Wednesday.

An investigation into the group began last May. Police said the drugs were distributed through a sophisticated operating network of dealers and local couriers.

Advertisement

On Feb. 10, 144 officers in the two provinces executed search warrants in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Surrey, B.C. Waddell said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

“There are many tentacles involved in organized crime,” Waddell said.

The total value of assets seized was more than $13.3 million.

They included cocaine with an estimated street value of $1.4 millionas well as cannabis and ecstasyand $2 million in cash.

Police seized 12 vehicles and 10 properties valued at more than $4.6 million.

Officers also took in more than $100,000 in Bitcoin. Waddell said it was the first time the service has seized Bitcoin in any active investigation.

He added police are concerned by the increased use of crypto currency in criminal activity.

“It’s the next wave for organized crime to evade and allude detection.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.