FINTRAC - Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

12/04/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/04/2018 08:18

News Release: Northwest Territories RCMP FIU charge 15 people in Project Gloomiest

The Northwest Territories RCMP Federal Investigations Unit has laid charges against 15 people involved in the cocaine trade in the city of Yellowknife. The year-long investigation had over 1425 grams of purported cocaine and two firearms seized during the course of the investigation.

The investigation began after the Northwest Territories RCMP received information from Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Canada's Financial Intelligence Agency, regarding suspicious movements of money believed to be linked to the NT drug trade. This is an example of the partnership between the RCMP and FINTRAC and the ability to identify potentially illegal activity and conduct investigations.

The primary subject of this investigation was Toufic Chamas. The investigation quickly expanded to include several other people working in concert with Mr. Chamas. A separate cocaine trafficking network was also investigated.

The RCMP confirms that two search warrants executed earlier this year on May 4, 2018 were done as part of this investigation. Investigators had observed the unlawful transfer of a firearm during the course of their surveillance. Parts of the dismantled firearm were recovered during the searches. Toufic Chamas and Clayton Christensen have been charged with firearms offences in relation to this transaction.

The following people have been arrested and released for court at later dates:

  • Toufic Chamas (age 23 - Edmonton) Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (4 counts) / unlawful possession of a Firearm S. 91(3) CC
  • Andrew Rheaume (Age 24 - Yellowknife) Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking 5(2) CDSA
  • Clayton Christensen (Age 40 - Yellowknife) Unlawful Transfer of a Firearm S. 101(2) CC
  • Abdifatah Maie (Age 40 - Edmonton) Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (2 counts)
  • Toni Tobac (F) (age 27 - Yellowknife) Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (2 counts)
  • Brandon Topilikon (Age 26 - Yellowknife) Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA
  • Caitlin Stewart (Age 27 - Yellowknife) Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (3 counts)
  • Julie Carter (Age 33 - Yellowknife) Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (3 counts)

Arrest Warrants have been issued for the following people:

  • Mohammed Ahmad (Age 20) - Edmonton - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (4 counts)
  • Abdikani Warsame (Age 27) - Toronto - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA
  • Brett Lacey (Age 29) No Fixed Address - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (3 counts)
  • Paul Mangiel (Age 27) - Red Deer - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (5 counts)
  • Rasid Abdula (Age 23) - Edmonton - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (3 counts)
  • Samatar Yousuf (Age 22) - Ottawa - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA (2 counts)
  • Kerry Balsillie (Age 30) - Yellowknife - Trafficking Cocaine S. 5(1) CDSA

'This was a very challenging investigation, compounded by the fact that many of the people we encountered were from out of town, and operated under pseudonyms. Extensive efforts were made to confirm the identity of these people who came to Yellowknife to exploit our most vulnerable citizens. In addition to trafficking cocaine, some of the individuals charged are alleged to have trafficked substitute substances that they represented as cocaine. While this is obviously profitable, it is a very dangerous activity that fuels violence associated to the drug trade, which puts both the trafficker and the general public at risk' said Staff Sergeant Dean Riou of the Northwest Territories RCMP Federal Investigations Unit.