CORNWALL, Ontario – A police patrol on the St. Lawrence River has netted $200,000 (U.S.) seized from an Akwesasne, N.Y. man.
While on patrol during the late evening hours of March 31, members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) observed a vessel with two occupants heading north on the St. Lawrence River to a shoreline dock in the city’s east end.
Upon arrival at the dock, police a male passenger disembark the vessel, walk up to the roadway and proceed east carrying a black sports bag. CRTF members stopped to question the individual.
The individual was later detained and the sports bag searched. The search of the bag revealed the large sum of U.S. currency. The male, 23, from Akwesasne, N.Y., was then placed under arrest for being in possession of property obtained by crime. While this was occurring, the vessel and its operator had departed the dock, heading south on the St. Lawrence River.
The male was brought to the Cornwall RCMP Detachment for processing and was later released from custody pending further investigation. This individual cannot be named as charges have not yet been deposed.
The CRTF’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.
“Given the circumstances surrounding this shoreline interception, we believe that the monies seized were obtained through illicit activities,” said Inspector Steve Ethier, officer in charge of the Cornwall Regional Task Force. “Although it is unclear at this point where the cash was destined, it is highly probable that organized crime is involved. Seizing such a large sum of cash along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, under any circumstance, is not common place. By seizing this cash, we are disrupting organized crime activities.”
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.