Police bust major cheese smuggling ring in U.S. and Canada
Canadian and US authorities have busted a cross-border cheese smuggling ring that brought Can$200,000 worth of mozzarella into Canada undeclared and without paying duties.
Four men, including two Canadian policemen, were foiled in the caper to also distribute the dairy products — as well as chicken wings and pickles — to pizzerias and other restaurants in southern Ontario for an estimated profit of Can$165,000, Niagara Regional Police said.
They each face several charges including conspiracy, smuggling and breach of trust.
A conviction carries fines and possible jail time.
Constable Derek Watson told AFP: “Most people have been chuckling about the arrests (in online postings), but the (police) chief is taking these crimes very seriously.”
The investigation involved the US Department of Homeland Security, US and Canadian border agencies and the Niagara Regional Police in southern Ontario.
Canadian cheese prices are generally higher because of restrictions by local dairy boards, as well as tight controls on foreign imports of cheaper cheeses.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]