More than 80 police officers, from four different police forces in the Canadian province of Quebec, took part in raids across the Montreal area Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation to dismantle a network illegally selling alcohol and drugs into Nunavik, the Inuit region of Arctic Quebec.
In all, seven residences and five vehicles were targeted in Tuesday morning’s raids as part of Project Plutonium by the La Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Quebec’s provincial police; the Laval Police Service, which serves the city of Laval just north of Montreal; the Kativik Regional Police Force, which serves Nunavik, and the Montreal Police (SPVM).
A spokesperson for the SQ told Eye on the Arctic Tuesday morning that they weren’t immediately able to say what, if anything, was seized.
No arrests were made.
In a news release on Tuesday, the SQ said the investigation began in June 2019 in an effort to stamp out the illegal traffic of drugs and alcohol to Nunavik communities, and was done in collaboration with Canada Post; Revenu Quebec, Quebec’s tax agency and Quebec’s liquor board (SAQ).
The SQ said in the news release that between 2016 and 2020, more than 39,000 bottles of alcohol were bought for a value of $900,000. The bottles, mostly vodka, are then sold for eight to 12 times higher than in the southern part of the province.
The illegal items are sent into Nunavik by mail, police say.
The Kativik Regional Police Force says 74 per cent of their calls are alcohol related.
Quebec provincial police say further information about the raids will be released later on Tuesday.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
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