Cops charge two women in bootleg roundup

Toutoune Taxi boss faces bootlegging charge


IQALUIT — Two Iqaluit women will appear in court Oct. 1 as the result of an RCMP crackdown on bootlegging in Iqaluit.

The charges were laid after one woman was observed selling liquor from a taxi cab, and another woman was observed selling liquor near the Snack restaurant.

Staff-Sgt. Mike Jeffrey, the officer in charge of the Iqaluit detachment, said many Iqaluit residents are urging the RCMP to fight illegal booze sales in the community.

“The public said it’s a priority,” Jeffrey said.

Jeffrey said the alcohol abuse problem in Iqaluit is “terrible”and is related to “nearly everything that we do.”

He said bottles of hard liquor bought in the South for around $40 fetch prices of $100-$150 each in Iqaluit, and more in the outlying communities.

During dry spells, the law of supply and demand can force prices up to $500 a bottle.

Jeffrey said a weakness in the import-permit provisions of the territorial Liquor Act compound the problem.

A single import permit — required for the purchase of liquor in the South — doesn’t expire until after a year. As a result, local bootleggers can make multiple repeat orders on the strength of one permit, Jeffrey said.

Aurore Martin, 62, a cab driver and proprietor of Iqaluit’s Toutoune taxi company, has been charged with the illegal sale of liquor. She’ll appear in court Oct. 1.

Keri Nyal, 23, of Iqaluit, has also been charged with the illegal sale of liquor, and will appear in court Oct. 1.

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