Police Raid Gambling Den At Toronto Mansion
Law enforcement authorities have seized a massive mansion in a quiet neighbourhood just north of Toronto – along with alcohol to the value of CA$1.5 million, roughly a million dollars in cash, 11 firearms, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Police started investigating the luxury home after receiving information late in 2019 hinting at the presence of an illegal casino and spa.
The investigation, dubbed “Project Endgame”, unearthed the true nature of what had been happening at the affluent neighbourhood home, including a colossal underground gambling den complete with a full cash bar stocked with premium alcohol worth thousands a bottle, a full-function banking area, several slot machines, and premium Mahjong tables – a game typically favoured by high-rolling Chinese nationals.
The details of the investigation as well as some of what had been discovered inside Ontario’s Markham mansion was revealed by members of the York Regional Police in front of the expansive 20,000-sq-ft. estate a little over a week ago.
Gambling, Guns, And Hard Cash
The upstairs level of the mansion reportedly consisted of a setup that indicated the presence of something operated in the same way a bed-and-breakfast would. One of the upstairs bedrooms reportedly belonged to the owner and operator of the mansion and illegal casino. In this room, police say they discovered a loaded AR-15 rifle, a 30-round rifle magazine, and also a 9mm handgun.
The initial investigations happened by way of a search warrant and was conducted at a residence on Midland Avenue on July 3. At that stage of the inquiry, police managed to seize several gaming tables and slot machines. Officers furthermore seized an amount of CA$25,000 in cash. It was at this point that police realised that similar illegal gambling operations were also carrying on at the Markham Mansion.
The Fly-By – Then The Strike
The initial helicopter fly-by happened on July 17 and involved members of York Police, the Durham Regional Police Service, and Ontario Provincial Police. The plan was to enter the mansion with tactical police teams.
But the helicopter fly-by however revealed what appeared to be some kind of party or social event in the backyard of the mansion, with waiters serving what appeared to be underage youngsters. Due to the risks involved and possible damage and retaliation, police on that particular day decided to call the operation temporarily off.
On July 23, however, a team consisting of 32 investigators and 92 specialised tactical officers descended on the home like a ton of bricks – at which point the fully functional illegal casino operation was discovered, and dozens of people present at the time arrested. One of the people arrested by police were reportedly the owner and operator of the den, a 32-year-old male individual.
The List Of Offenses Goes On
Surprisingly, not even that proved to be the end of the debacle, with even more linked illegal operations discovered to be carrying on at a separate location situation in Vaughan. Identified as one of the personal places of residence of one of the gaming house kingpin operators, police at that location seized around CA$70,000 in cash and roughly CA$10 million in liquifiable assets.
Project Endgame ultimately led to at least 29 individuals being arrested, which individuals now face a total of 74 charges. Some of the charges also involve sex- and drug trafficking offenses.