A joint investigation between Saskatchewan RCMP and Saskatchewan Highway Patrol resulted in a seizure of almost $1 million following a commercial traffic inspection in the southern area of the province.
Around 11:14 a.m. the morning of Sept. 1, 2022, the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol conducted a commercial traffic inspection on a semi-truck with two male occupants travelling east on the outskirts of Regina.
During the course of the inspection, officers noted commercial vehicle violations and missing documentation. A search of the semi-truck resulted in officers locating two large duffle bags, each filled with a sum of cash in clear, vacuum sealed plastic bags, and one black canvas shopping bag that contained two packages that were also filled with cash.
The money was packaged in a way that was consistent with organized crime, according to police. As a result, all bags were seized by officers for further investigation.
The total amount of proceeds forfeited to police in the traffic inspection was $897,540 in Canadian currency. Officers determined the two occupants of the truck were originally destined for Headingley, Manitoba.
The two occupants were taken into custody without incident but were later released that evening with no charges.
After Highway Patrol requested assistance from the White Butte RCMP, the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) Saskatchewan were engaged and took carriage of the investigation. RCMP FSOC Sask. continued to work in collaboration with Saskatchewan Highway Safety Patrol and White Butte RCMP, who were joined by the Regina Integrated Intelligence Unit.
Over the coming months, officers initiated an investigation into the proceeds seized, which included conducting background checks, drafting judicial authorizations, and examining evidence collected from the scene.
RCMP FSOC Saskatchewan worked in consultation with the Saskatoon RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS), Public Prosecution Service Canada, and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, who determined the proceeds should be referred to the Province’s Civil Forfeiture process.
On March 30, 2023, the Provincial Crown applied for civil forfeiture and the Regina King’s Bench Court deemed the proceeds were the result of unlawful activity and ordered the money be forfeited to Saskatchewan’s Civil Forfeiture Program.
Over seven months after the initial traffic inspection, the investigation into the proceeds forfeited and seized has now been concluded.