Much mirth has been occasioned in Canada by reports of racketeering in maple syrup and cheese. But fear not, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have devised a cunning plan to curdle the activities of these criminal masterminds.
In August Quebec police were on the hunt for sticky-fingered thieves after millions of dollars of maple syrup vanished from a warehouse. The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check when the warehouse owners found out they had been had over a barrel. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which is responsible for strategic maple syrup reserves, initially kept the news quiet hoping to offer a sweetener to some sugar-candy whistle-blower.
Quebec produces between 70 and 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup with the bulk of exports going to the United States. About 10 million pounds of syrup valued at more than $30-million were stored at the site. Faced with the unusual prospect of tracking down sweet-toothed villains, the RCMP called in a SWAT team of highly trained ants which immediately got on the case.
In September three men, including one current and one former police officer from the Niagara Falls area, were charged in connection with an international cheese-smuggling ring. The scam was to buy cheese in the United States and re-sell it in Canada without paying duty. The authorities claimed that more than $200,000 worth of food was purchased and sold at a profit of more than $165,000.
Apparently, the trucks carrying the contraband only crossed the border on days when the wind was blowing north to south. Customs officials failed to notice anything unusual in the occasional whiff of old socks, putting it down to the prevailing bries.
Realising that he will have to tread very caerphilly if he is to put an end to such racletteering, the RCMP’s Inspector Roquefort has come up with a brilliant idea. Henceforth, border officials will be equipped with specially trained sniffer mice. Critics think this is case of clutching at cheese straws or, indeed, cheese-paring on the part of the government. Either way it’s hard cheese for the smugglers.