‘Maple syrup heist’ thief has to pay victims C$9m (US$7m) or serve six more years in jail (representative image). Photograph:( Twitter )
Canada’s supreme court on Thursday ruled Vallières needs to pay back the full amount of the syrup he stole and then sold, not just the profits of the crime. “The Great Canada maple syrup heist”, a C$17 million caper, led to a huge investigation and a Hollywood screenplay
Infamous ‘maple syrup heist’ thief has a new challenge now. Richard Vallières, who was the mastermind behind the crime, has to pay victims C$9m (US$7m) or serve six more years in jail.
Wondering what it is all about? Well, a man in Canada stole the maple syrup reserve in Quebec province and then sold the illicit product.
Vallières could not succeed for long as the police got the tip, and he and his accomplices landed in jail. His plan to make millions of dollars went awry.
Canada’s supreme court on Thursday ruled Vallières needs to pay back the full amount of the syrup he stole and then sold, not just the profits of the crime.
“The Great Canada maple syrup heist”, a C$17 million caper, led to a huge investigation and a Hollywood screenplay.
In 2011, a group of thieves stole syrup from thousands of white metal barrels in warehouses rented by the Federation of Maple Syrup Producers.
The thieves knew barrels were inspected only once a year in the strategic reserve. So, they replaced the syrup with water and transported it to the province of New Brunswick. Syrup was packaged and sold to different buyers.
In 2012, an inspector noticed that some barrels were empty while others were lighter than usual. On investigation, the Federation realised that 9,571 barrels, worth nearly C$18m, were stolen.
In police raids, 16 people were held, and Vallières was identified as the group’s leader.
He was found guilty of fraud, trafficking and theft and sentenced to eight years in prison. The criminal was also fined C$9.4m, the value of the syrup sold.
Vallières was given 10 years to pay the amount or face a six-year prison term.
In an appeal, the amount was reduced to only C$1 million as Vallières claimed the amount had been the profit on his theft. But on Thursday, Canada’s top court restored the original fine.
(With inputs from agencies)