10/30/2015 12:05 EDT | Updated 10/30/2015 12:59 EDT

RCMP: Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering Ring Busted


DARTMOUTH, N.S. — Mounties say they have smashed a drug trafficking and money laundering ring that moved large amounts of cash and marijuana from British Columbia to Central and Eastern Canada.

Simultaneous raids were carried out Wednesday on six homes around Halifax and eight in Metro Vancouver, with five men and a woman arrested in Nova Scotia and seven men taken into custody in B.C.

Police say nearly 78 kilograms of marijuana was seized, along with more than $117,000 in cash, weapons, ammunition, other drugs, and 14 vehicles.

The B.C. suspects have been flown to Halifax and charges against the alleged ringleaders include conspiracy to traffic marijuana, possession of the proceeds of crime and money laundering.

Police say the sophisticated ring has ties to organized crime and members travelled via commercial airlines, to Halifax, St. John's, N.L., Toronto and Montreal, carrying drugs and cash in checked luggage.

The RCMP's Federal Serious Organized Crime Group estimates, including the latest busts, it has seized more than $232,000 and almost 93 kilograms of marijuana since surveillance began five months ago.

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