Authorities in Canada have busted a luxury mansion that allegedly operated as an illegal casino and spa outside Toronto, Canadian authorities said.
Police raided a $9 million, 20,000-square-foot mansion in late July, arresting 32 people. Investigators also seized more than $1 million in cash, 11 firearms, as well as gaming machines, gaming tables and more than $1.5 million worth of top-shelf alcohol.
Authorities on Wednesday held a press conference outside the palatial residence, where several upstairs bedrooms appeared to operate as a bed and breakfast. The owner and alleged operator also kept a bedroom there — as well as a fully loaded AR-15 rifle and a 9 mm handgun, the Canadian Broadcasting Company reported.
“This is organized crime truly exploiting and demonstrating their money, their positions and opulence thinking somehow that they are above the law,” York police Deputy Chief Brian Bigras told reporters.
In addition to gambling, police believe sex trafficking was also being conducted out of the sprawling mansion, the CBC reported.
Investigators first started receiving tips about underground gaming dens late last year, but the illegal operations seemingly increased significant during the coronavirus pandemic, police said.
York Regional Police said an investigation into illegal gaming dens dubbed “Project End Game” started in May when detectives got tips of underground casinos scattered throughout Markham, Ontario, northwest of Toronto.
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