The Kativik Regional Police Force (KRPF) is examining the possibility to create a new special unit dedicated to the fight against contraband alcohol and drugs in Nunavik.
On February 18, 2020, the KRPF conducted a series of searches with the assistance of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), leading to several seizures. Under the Plutonium Project, police carried out 12 searches and targeted five individuals, mainly in the Montreal area. The police forces confiscated:
- 180 bottles of vodka (750 mL);
- 2,500 g of cannabis;
- 569 g of cocaine;
- 775 units of methamphetamines;
- $118,562 in cash;
- 33 credit cards;
- 3 Tasers;
- 4 automobiles.
From February 21 to 23, the KRPF conducted ten new searches in Salluit, Kangiqsujuaq, Akulivik, Quaqtaq and Puvirnituq. Police seized more than $6,500 in cash, 24 vodka bottles of 750 mL, nine credit cards, cellphones, cannabis and hashish. Other searches will take place in the following days.
The Plutonium Project is the result of an extensive investigation started nine months ago by the KRPF following various tips received from the public. In total, 82 police officers and civilian resources participated in the project. The SQ (including the SQ canine unit), the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (including its emergency response team), the Service de police de Chateauguay, the Service de police de Laval, the Service de police de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and inspectors from Revenu Quebec and Canada Post took part in this investigation.
The KRPF estimates that the five individuals targeted by the operation controlled up to 70% of the contraband alcohol circulating in Nunavik. Since 2016, when the suspects began their illegal activities, they purchased 39,400 bottles of alcohol. These bottles could be sold up to 12 times its purchased price in the remote communities of Nunavik.
In 2019, 84% of the 3,345 assaults and 74% of the 11,763 incidents in Nunavik were related to alcohol. The fight against contraband is continuous and has always been a priority for the KRPF. In the last three years, the KRPF seized the equivalent of $1.8 million of contraband alcohol.
Considering the extent of contraband in the region and its disastrous social impact in the communities, the KRPF is now seriously contemplating to create a special unit to fight against contraband alcohol and drugs trade in the region.
This new unit would have access to more resources and flexibility to operate against contraband. The KRPF will discuss the form and specific objectives of the potential entity in the next few weeks.
Any information concerning suspicious activities, including the illegal sale of drugs and alcohol, can anonymously be disclosed to Crime Stoppers by dialing the following toll free number: 1-800-711-1800. Information received may qualify for a reward of up to $2,000.