Canadian allegedly sent 2,000 mortar shells to war-torn Syria

A Lebanese-Canadian, a U.S. citizen, is making headlines for allegedly arranging the shipment of many thousands of mortar shells to war-torn Syria.

The shells, which have fallen into the hands of ISIS, can be described as a “poisonous powder” and are used by the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group to launch rockets into populated areas.

Antoine Arrahmoud, who is also known as Abu Hussein, is being sought in the alleged plot.

Canadian authorities claim the shipping company he ran was acting on his behalf.

While he is wanted in Canada, the illegal shipments continue. The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that some 2,000 shells, bound for Syria, arrived in the port of Montreal in April this year.

Arrahmoud is likely in Lebanon, but he has not been seen in the country since February of this year.

Rafael Monsef, Quebec’s minister of Democratic Institutions, was indicted last week on immigration and fraud charges in relation to the smuggling. Monsef is a long-time member of Parliament and former official in the provincial government of Quebec.

He was accused of using the alias Damian Khan to take out phony residency in Montreal for himself and another suspect, Rizgar Aliyev, a Canadian citizen who is listed in the immigration documents as living in the U.S.

These men, along with a third Canadian citizen and four other citizens from other countries, are now facing extradition to Canada.

The scandal is the latest in an ongoing story in Montreal. The Montreal Gazette revealed in March that Arrahmoud, once one of the most prominent Lebanese expatriates in Montreal, used his network of Lebanese-Canadian business associates and family members to buy real estate in Canada.

These bribes reportedly were paid to win work at the McGill Immigration Admissions Program.

The program provides a quick immigrant visa for Syrians.

The documents alleged that Monsef used a lie to conceal his involvement with illegal business dealings with his brother-in-law and nephew. Monsef eventually admitted he had intervened with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to avoid a citizenship ban on him when his sister married a Syrian.

The documents also claimed that he played a key role in the brazen use of the Canadian government services to exploit vulnerable Syrian refugees for their own benefits.

Monsef has not been charged with any criminal offense.

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