The masters of the pot culture

News 30 September, 2017
  • Éric Thibault

    Saturday, 30 September 2017, 08:00

    Saturday, 30 September 2017, 08:00

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    The underworld of asian supplanted the Hells Angels and took the monopoly of the indoor cultivation of marijuana in the greater Montreal area, where illegal plantations are expected to continue to proliferate in spite of the legalization of pot.

    This is what has been revealed to be the commander Minh Tri Truong, of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), in interview to the Newspaper.

    “We noticed that they currently have the monopoly of the indoor cultivation of pot in Montreal, Laval and Longueuil, among others. They control the market of greenhouses of 300 to 1500 plants that grow in hundreds of bungalows or duplexes that they have purchased and transformed into places of culture, ” said the specialist of the organized crime.

    A report by the SPVM figure, moreover, to “at least” 500 the number of planting “large-scale” cannabis exploited “annually” by the underworld of asia, only on the island of Montreal.

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    The police Department of the City of Montreal has seized 977 cannabis plants growing in the basement of a house located at 8650 rue Rosario-Bayeur, in the district of Rivière-des-Prairies, and owned a couple of asian origin, on the 17th of may last.

    The officer stated that the mariculteurs asians, who are mainly of vietnamese origin, have also the access to this market at a national level.

    Expert on this faction rather unknown in the middle of shady, the commander Truong was one of the rare police officers in quebec to have trapped the criminal organizations of asian origin throughout the country, working as an undercover agent for the SPVM, the Sûreté du Québec and the royal Canadian mounted police.

    Disciplined and competent

    According to him, they have not risen to the top of the indoor cultivation of pot just because they have ” the green thumb “.

    “Their great strength is that they are disciplined, he observed. What they do takes a lot of patience. It’s complicated. And they are good at it. “

    In particular, they have developed techniques of culture are more advanced than those of their competitors, explained the commander Truong.

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    Minh Tri Truong, commander

    “Now, their seedlings can be cut off after 39 days of culture [rather than 60 or 90]. With the bearing, it is very lucrative. Then they leave to other plantations of marijuana found in the fields of the province, which only provide a single harvest, and that requires less maintenance. “

    Many of these immigrants have already worked in rice farming or in factories, ” said the officer.

    “For them, it is an opportunity that is more lucrative than being on a sewing machine eight to five, and the minimum wage. “

    In 1997, the canadian security intelligence Service criminal wrote in his annual report that the Hells Angels had the monopoly on pot culture in the country.

    However, the asian organized crime has begun to establish itself in this market, ” there is a fifteen years in British Columbia, said the commander Truong.

    “Their production was mostly exported to the West Coast american, and it was very profitable. They are then moved to Toronto, and then here. “

    Here to stay

    Rare, Hells Angels have finally conceded that drug market without the shedding of blood in order to concentrate on those of cocaine and synthetic drugs.

    The bikers and the Italian mafia, however, continue to take advantage of this trade by associating with the underworld of asian export pot “made in Canada” to the United States. Students then apply their “green money” in the importation of cocaine, according to several police investigations.

    It seems utopian to believe that the houses of the pot of the underworld asian will disappear if the government Trudeau legalizes cannabis in Canada as early as next summer.

    “A big part of their production in Quebec and Ontario feeds into the east coast market of the United States, from New York to Florida. It represents several millions of dollars. In spite of what is coming, they are likely to continue to produce and supply the american market, ” noted the commander Truong in reference to the bill of the liberals.


    500 plantation in Montreal

    • 246, de-Light, Laval

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    • 8750, 8e Avenue, Montréal (Rosemont)

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    • 8650, Rosario-Bayeur, Montreal (Rivière-des-Prairies)

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    • 7141-7143, Goncourt, Montreal (Anjou)

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    • 7925-7929, 13e Avenue, MontréaL (Saint-Michel)

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    • 7077-7079, Marquette, Montreal
      (Rosemont-Petite Patrie)

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    • 2929, chemin Bedford, Montreal

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    • 2290, Stevens, Montreal (Saint-Laurent)

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    • 14, Daudelin, Kirkland

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    • 50, Hawthorne, Kirkland

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    • 359, Alismas, Laval

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    There are “at least” 500 plantations inland of cannabis on a large scale-controlled by the criminal groups of asian origins on the island of Montreal, according to an estimate of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). Among those investigations, SPVM have allowed to flush out during the first six months of this year, the 11 properties identified on this map may soon be confiscated by the provincial government as offence-related property. The value of these houses and buildings totals$5.7 Million.


    Four plants out of five

    Tripled in 5 years

    In just five years, the number of plants of pot seized by police from cultures that are related to the underworld asia has more than tripled in Montreal. In 2011, 97 235 125 239 plants seized by the SPVM were cultivated by these criminal organizations, almost 80 %.

    The green thumb

    The average size of the crop of pot asian discoveries by the SPVM has doubled, from 2006 to 2011, from 354 to 729 plants by installation. For comparative purposes, the SPVM not identified as 169 plants in average in the greenhouses indoor pot dismantled that were not related to the criminal underworld of asia.

    93 %

    As early as 2002, criminologist Martin Bouchard was estimated in a study that 93% of 302 metric tons of marijuana produced in Quebec came from cultures from the inside.

    Source: Reading of the environment of the SPVM 2013


    The pot, a family affair

    The suspects that are tightly woven are exchanged even in residences in which there are greenhouses.

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    Trong Nam Nguyen, Trong Nhan Nguyen and Trong Hieu Nguyen

    Three survey projects conducted in 2017 by the SPVM to pay the costs of the underworld in asia have helped to reveal some of the ingredients of the recipe for success of these pot growers. Here are a few taken by The Newspaper in a multitude of court documents.

    1. Houses of pot a day…

    The mariculteurs of the underworld asian specialize in the recycling of buildings where the police have already discovered the greenhouses of pot in the past.

    The police were well in their second search in three of the four “houses of pot” targeted in the survey project Tutor, the last winter.

    These properties had been redeemed, restored and redesigned by the workers of asian origin “specifically” hired by new buyers to accommodate new plantings.

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    A big bag full of marijuana was hidden in the dryer of an apartment of the rue Marquette used as a drier pot by mariculteurs asian, on 21 June.

    The current owners of two of these houses have been acquired at a discount, at prices that are well below the assessment, possibly as a result of damage – mainly to mould – caused by the humidity that these plants emit.

    For example, in January 2008, police dismantled a greenhouse of 470 plants pot-246, boulevard Leger, Laval. Valued at 331 600 $ in the land registry of the City, the residence was purchased for only 265 000 $ in 2015 by Trong Hieu Nguyen, who has received a mortgage loan of $ 254,000 of the financial institution.

    On 15 February, the police returned and seized 498 plants. Despite the presence of a sleeping bag on a couch, the house was not inhabited and not used in the production of cannabis.

    Mr. Nguyen has simply told the POLICE that he had acquired ” investment “…

    Some mariculteurs pinned and imprisoned, have, nevertheless, managed to recover by selling their home to other growers in the Quebec Gold.

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    A portion of the 977 plants of pot found in the basement of a house in the district of Rivière-des-Prairies, Montreal, 17 may.

    In 2008, Siu Ly Phang has bought a house on the rue Rosario-Bayeur, in the district of Rivière-des-Prairies, in Montreal, at a cost of $320,000.

    A year later, the owner found herself with handcuffs to the wrists of the approximately 150 people arrested in the police operation Borax, the most important ever conducted at the expense of the underworld asian in Quebec.

    The police have found in a greenhouse of nearly 200 plants of pot and Mrs Phang was then sentenced to nine months in prison.

    In 2014, she has sold her house to Ms. Thi Ngoc Huong Nguyen for 385 000 $ 65 000 $ more than it had paid six years earlier.

    The 17 may final, the new owner and his spouse have, in their turn, received the visit of the police who, this time, seized a greenhouse even more imposing 977 marijuana plants.

    2. The clan Nguyen

    The cultivation of cannabis is often a family affair within the asian organized crime. During operation Guardian, at least 12 people whose family name is Nguyen were the subject of this investigation, which eventually led to the indictment of four suspects.

    The leader of the network, Trong Nam Nguyen, 60 years old, was presumed to be of the plantations of pot in four buildings of Montreal and Laval.

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    More than 126 000 $ in cash and 50 kilograms of cannabis were seized in the mariculteurs and traffickers were arrested in the framework of the project, Ounce in June.

    He rented one to his brother, Trong Nhan Nguyen, 47 years old, in the area of Côte-des-Neiges, where it would have been a culture of over 500 plants. One of their nephews, Trong Hieu Nguyen, 32 years old, was watching on another crop of 500 plants in a house in Laval, based on the evidence of the Crown.

    In its draft anti-drug baptized Once, the SPVM has also apprehended two couples in dismantling a major network, on the 21st of June.

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    The traffickers asians are not limited to marijuana, as illustrated in this portion of the 6900 tablets of methamphetamine seized in Laval during a survey of greenhouses in the underground economy.

    “There was a strong smell of marijuana [and] a child who slept in the dwelling “, noted the police officers on the scene of a search.

    The alleged leader of the network, May Sort The, and his wife, Vina Hien Nguyen, left them in the room of their child a machine to count the money that they reported the allegedly illicit sales of the organization.

    3. A SME in the basement

    A basement of 300 plants of pot giving six crops per year can generate around half a million dollars in revenue.

    “It can be very, very profitable “, mentioned the commander Minh Tri Truong, the SPVM, in indicating that each book of casseroles with cannabis – either the production of approximately six plants – earns about $ 1500 at the mariculteur.

    But the more ambitious are not merely a sub-floor of the house.

    The 15 February last, the SPVM has entered 3330 cannabis plants growing in “different parts” of a commercial building of 8th Avenue, in the neighbourhood of Rosemont. He belonged to a numbered company of which the first shareholder is Trong Nam Nguyen.

    On the same day, they also discovered 534 plants in a residential building sector Côte-des-Neiges, the chemin Bedford, property of the same business man, and used to address to his import-export business of used cars.

    Alleged leader of a prolific network of production of marijuana, Trong Nam Nguyen, 60 years old, was arrested at the wheel of his Lexus, in the parking lot of a dealer of this brand of luxury vehicles, during operation Guardian.

    Trong Nam Nguyen has nine vehicles and his residence in the borough of Saint-Laurent is worth $1.2 million.

    This building ” a majestic three storey building “, according to a survey report of the SPVM, is not threatened to be confiscated as well unlawful by the State. Its two other properties which were home to cultures of pot, however, could fall into the hands of the government if he is convicted.

    He is still awaiting trial for production of drugs, just like his brother, Trong Nhan Nguyen, and his nephew, Trong Hieu Nguyen.

    Moreover, the investigation of the SPVM has allowed to establish that at least two crops of marijuana dismantled in 2016 to La Prairie, in Montérégie, Saint-Jérôme, in the Laurentians, were related to the organization of the brothers Nguyen.

    4. The enigmatic Mr. The

    The underworld of asian is not limited to the production of pot. Some of his associates are also active in the sale of a variety of hard drugs like heroin, crystal meth and crack cocaine.

    It is this that tends to show the survey project baptized Once, by which the SPVM has led to the indictment in June of 13 alleged traffickers, the majority of whom are of vietnamese origin.

    The survey targeted May Sort The 40-year-old, as the alleged mastermind of this major network.

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    On January 8, 2016, a fire broke out in a residential building which housed a pot plantation in the district of Saint-Michel. It was then able to identify a suspect who was too close to the stage.

    He had first raised the suspicions of the police officers who were surprised on two occasions in the process of circulating “low-speed” in front of an apartment building burnt down on 15th Avenue, in the Saint-Michel, on the morning of January 8, 2016. The fire department had found a hundred plants to pot on the disaster site.

    “What, you don’t have the right to come and see ? There is a fire, it is burnt and there is mold “, would have spontaneously said Mr. The patrol that had intercepted it.

    The policeman was curious that the motorist tells him about mold since there was ” no trace visible from the street “.

    In the following months, a source with the police told them that managed it “several marijuana plantations” in Montreal, in addition to being active on the market of the cocaine. The surveillance operations of the police officers were allowed to observe their subordinates in the process of dealing large quantities of drugs in hockey bags, cardboard boxes and coolers.

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    On 14 June, the police have found 3200 $ and 278 g of cocaine in the SUV of a man suspected of managing crops of pot to the underworld asian in Montreal.

    Several buildings of the planting pot and the points of sale of drugs have also been identified, including three belonging to the wife of Mr. The.

    The sweep operation of the police led to the seizure of approximately 50 kilograms of marijuana, 5 grams of heroin, of 1331 g of crystal meth, 490 g of cocaine, 407 g of hashish, in addition to hundreds of steroid pills and Viagra of contraband.

    Six buildings with a value totaling $ 3.1 million and used for criminal purposes by this network could be confiscated for the benefit of the Attorney general of Quebec, in the event guilt May Sort The and his cronies.

    5. Like a spider’s web

    Little chatty with the police, the pot growers of asian origin form a wall difficult to break through.

    The four suspects targeted by the operation Guardian are virtually remained silent as a carp when they have been arrested and interrogated by investigators from the SPVM. “No statement incriminating” has been taken from them, according to the evidence.

    In Quebec, the asian organized crime “works like a spider’s web” without any real structure or hierarchy, as opposed to organized crime in Asia, the bikers or the Italian mafia, has observed the commander Minh Tri Truong, of the SPVM.

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    The greenhouse dismantled in may in a house in the rue Rosario-Bayeur was powered by electricity diverted, meters Hydro-Quebec.

    The members of the criminal groups of asian origins are discrete and from the communities woven tight, in Canada as elsewhere in the world.

    “The discretion, it is in the nature of Asian “, has confirmed the officer Truong.

    Unlike the world of the bikers, the police in Quebec have hardly ever managed to recruit informers to assist in trap of the traffickers or to denounce serious crimes.

    The language barrier also seems to play in their favor as the police are able to approach or infiltrate these criminal gangs, as did the commander Truong at the beginning of his career during the 1990s, are not legion.

    “It is sure that the typical profile of a police officer in Quebec, or even in North America, is less in this environment. The approach is becoming more difficult, advance the officer of the SPVM. But if you do not manage to establish a relationship of trust, it will be difficult to obtain information and to make people talk, regardless of their origin. “