Ten arrested in probe of organized crime involvement in Que. construction industry

Quebec provincial police say they’ve arrested 10 people as part of a crackdown on organized crime involvement in the province’s construction industry. But provincial police say the arrests aren’t connected to Operation Hammer, the high-profile probe into allegations of Mafia-related acitivity that have caused a major political scandal in the province.

MONTREAL — Quebec provincial police say they’ve arrested 10 people as part of a crackdown on organized crime involvement in the province’s construction industry.

But provincial police say the arrests aren’t connected to Operation Hammer, the high-profile probe into allegations of Mafia-related acitivity that have caused a major political scandal in the province.

A police spokesman says four people are still being sought on warrants and remain on the lam.

The people arrested today are involved in masonry, and they were nabbed under a five-month-old police investigation dubbed Operation Diligence.

Quebec’s construction industry has come under heavy scrutiny more recently, amid reports of companies colluding to boost the cost of construction projects, then funding political parties and sharing their profits with the Mafia.

Those allegations caused the provincial government to launch a separate investigation — Operation Hammer — last month.

Quebec provincial police have called a news conference this afternoon to discuss the arrests.

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