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

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

West Shore RCMP spend four hours searching for roving hikers

RCMP say stay put once you’ve called for help and listen to instructions

No last minute reprieve for Sooke’s Tin Grotto

Sooke council sticks to its guns regarding “the eyesore” on Otter Point Road

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

WestShore Town Centre adds sensory-sensitive approach to photos with Santa

Limited reservations available on Dec. 15 and 22 from 10 to 11 a.m.

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Most Read