RCMP have laid charges after nearly $500,000 was seized at an Alberta border crossing in April after an alleged attempt to smuggle the cash into the country.
RCMP said the charges are the first of their kind in the province under federal anti-money laundering legislation and stem from a seizure of $477,050 at the Port of Entry, Coutts, Alta., border crossing on April 26.
“This was really great work on behalf of the border officers. They used their experience and expertise,” Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Lisa White said.
Border officials became suspicious of the suspect’s story and searched a Ford F350 truck and horse trailer when they found a secret compartment with a duffel bag containing the money, she added.
RCMP Sgt. Stephen Scott said while police arrested the man at the time, he was released without charges.
“This is a very serious offence,” Scott said, adding investigators believe the money is linked to organized crime.
Joseph Dale Butler, 34, of St. Thomas, Ont., is facing charges related to the incident and an Alberta-wide warrant has been issued, though he is believed to be in Ontario, police said.