The smuggling of wines kosher : a true State secret

La contrebande de vins cachères : un véritable secret d’État

Following on from my recent blog post on the smugglers of wines kosher hasidic who engage in the illicit traffic of alcohol in ontario, I wanted to go to the bottom of things. I am first sent to the SPVM, which made the descents in the synagogues. The spokesman told me that I should rather contact the SAQ, but that someone at the SPVM, which is the fact of the record, would call me back. I’m still waiting.

I am, therefore, addressed to the Société des Alcools du Québec.

I asked the SAQ how many lawsuits had been filed in the past 10 years under the Act respecting offences relating to alcoholic beverages and the Act respecting the société des alcools du Québec against smugglers of wines kosher. I also wanted to know if the intermediaries and distributors (trucks, warehouses, etc) of illicit imports of wines kosher ontarians, obviously accomplices, had already been the object of pursuit?

The information officer of the SAQ, Linda Bouchard, I was told that this is not the SAQ but rather the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, who could give me answers to my questions. She has, however, given figures of gross sales of wine to synagogues and catholic parishes for the past 5 years. It is therefore Impossible to know the sales of wines kosher.

To the question whether SAQ had already complaint to the LCBO of this traffic to and discussed with it ways to address, Ms. Bouchard gave me a terse response : “Yes, we’ve actually had discussions about this with them.” Without other details. I am, therefore, addressed to the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the liquor control board of Ontario, to learn how many wines are kosher, with a 17% discount, it sold in Quebec.

I had an answer as terse as it was mysterious : “The LCBO does not allow the sale of sacramental wine in Quebec and does not collect any percentage on these sales, since they are not under its jurisdiction.” I replied that if I interpreted their response, it was private buyers who were earning the wine to be kosher in the LCBO for resale in Quebec. These buyers had they need a license to sell their wines kosher in Quebec ? And the discussions with the SAQ? I am still waiting for there response.

So I then went to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, who, according to the SAQ, could answer my questions. I asked the DPCP how many prosecutions it had brought against smugglers of wine kosher and the number of cases of recurrence. I also wanted to know if the intermediaries in the illicit imports of wines kosher ontarians had already been the object of pursuit.

Me Melissa-Ann McFarland, head of the access to information for the DPCP, I was told that my request was a matter within the jurisdiction of the Office of offences and fines the ministry of Justice of Quebec. She has therefore asked me to speak to ms. Marie-Claude Daraiche, manager of the access to information of the department, specifying the articles of the laws referred to by my application.

This is where is the folder.

Obviously, the issue of wine kosher imported by ultra-orthodox jews of Montreal is a hot potato. Nobody wants to be, in any way whatsoever, involved in this quagmire.

The only other group in Quebec prompts such discomfort in the enforcement of the law, it is the Mohawks.

Share Button