Canada

Eastern European crime ring

Thursday's early morning takedown of an alleged major Eastern European mob ring, culminated a 2 year operation, involving more than 250 police officers.

Combined police forces in Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, and Toronto made 37 arrests, targeting a group they say are significant players in drug trafficking, and money laundering.

American police made connected arrests in New York State.

Other charges include, immigration offences, conspiracy to commit robbery, credit fraud and possessing counterfeit money.

Police say criminal groups from Eastern Europe have become increasingly prominent in Canada since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

They blame the largely unguarded Canada-U-S border and weak controls on currency flow.

One officer says the arrests are evidence parts of Canada are becoming sanctuaries for organized crime.