They can run but they can’t hide.
The OPP Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Team (CTET) and their partners have arrested and charged two additional individuals as part of Project CAIRNES, which began in July 2018.
The months-long multi-agency investigation into the trafficking of contraband tobacco from an unregulated manufacturing facility on Six Nations territory, tracked links to criminal drug trafficking networks in BC and the GTA.
The tobacco was being assembled into contraband cigarettes at the Six Nations facility, operated by an organized crime group from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), then trafficked to other parts of Ontario and Canada, including British Columbia, where it was sold on the street.
In addition to the production and trafficking of contraband tobacco, the team uncovered drug trafficking networks responsible for large shipments of illicit cannabis on a weekly basis from British Columbia to Ontario.
In June 2020, 16 individuals were arrested for 218 offences. Police seized 11.5 million contraband cigarettes,1,714 pounds of cannabis, three (3) handguns and associated ammunition, a cocaine press, 1.14 kilograms of cocaine, 10.2 kilograms of Piperidone, 1.3 kilograms of fentanyl, $236,750 in CAD currency and seven (7) vehicles as Offence-Related Property.
As the investigation continued, it revealed that two individuals associated with legitimate businesses were contributing to the manufacturing and distribution of the contraband tobacco operation.
As such, the following individuals have been charged for the corresponding offences:
Kalipersad Goberdhan, 57, of Mississauga: Unlawfully manufacture a tobacco product without a licence; Unlawfully package a tobacco product contrary to section 27 of the Excise Act; Participation in a Criminal Organization; Label and Package a Trademarked Product.
Paul Embury, 70 of Miami, Florida: Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence of unlawfully manufacturing a tobacco product without a licence.
The accused are expected to appear at an Ontario Court of Justice on August 10, 2020.