Island Mounties seize $2.6M US in cash

Forty-four-year-old Jeffrey Melchior of Lake Cowichan faces charges of possession of property obtained through crime and money laundering

Cpl. Paul Minkley



Rudy Haugeneder

News Staff

Amidst the tightest police security ever seen at RCMP District Headquarters in Victoria, police on Tuesday announced they had seized more than $2.6 million US in what Mounties describe as one of the largest seizures of laundered money in Canada.

RCMP Supt. Derek Simmonds, in charge of the federal Border Integrity program in B.C, said the money was fished out of Canadian waters near Sidney in the middle of the night last March after the pilot of a suspicious fast moving boat without running lights threw a suitcase of money into the water just as an RCMP patrol boat was about to intercept it.

After first recovering the suitcase, police arrested Jeffrey Melchior, 44, of Cowichan Lake, who is charged with possession of property obtained by crime and laundering proceeds of crime.

Simmonds said the seizure and arrest was the result of Melchior’s bad seamanship rather than intelligence they had collected.

He said the five-metre-rigid hull inflatable boat was just two nautical miles – six minutes – away from the U.S. border when police intercepted the vessel. Melchior was not armed and the only man aboard.

Simmonds said the only reason the suitcase full of money didn’t sink was because police were only metres away when Melchior threw it overboard and police acted instantly to recover it.

If it hadn’t been for Melchior moving at high speed toward the international border on a route known for smugglers the RCMP border integrity operations centre might have missed it.

Simmonds said the centre relayed the suspicious information to a RCMP marine patrol and it moved to cut Melchior off before he got to the border. There was no high-speed pursuit.

Simmonds said moving curency or contraband in large sums like this is a common identifier for organized crime activity.

Melchior, who is not in custody and was not previously know to police, is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Nov. 21 in Victoria.

Once the case is settled, Simmonds said the cash will be diverted into the federal government’s general revenues.

 

 

Just Posted

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

Pipeline protestors plan march as Trudeau gives Trans Mountain the go-ahead,

20 kilometre march to protest the pipeline starts in Victoria, ends on Saanich Peninsula

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read