Maple syrup seized in New Brunswick, Canada, has been linked to a $30 million Quebec heist in August of the sweet stuff, authorities say.
Quebec police had a warrant to search S.K. Exports, a New Brunswick-based company, and seized 700 to 800 barrels of maple syrup that authorities believe was stolen in August, the Toronto Star reported. The syrup was stolen from a warehouse about 100 miles northeast of Montreal, according to the CBC.
The owner of S.K. Exports, Etienne St. Pierre, told the paper he was shocked at what police found.
“They said they were searching to find some stolen drums from Quebec,” St. Pierre said. “It was a surprise. That was the first news I received.”
St. Pierre told the CBC his company was not involved in the maple syrup theft and claimed he bought the syrup from a supplier that he deals with regularly. He was described as being cooperative with police and gave authorities the names and addresses of his suppliers in Quebec, the network reported.
The hundreds of barrels seized weighed about 400,000 pounds, according to St. Pierre’s estimation.
"Since [Tuesday,] they start to load the stuff in the truck, and then the trailer load," he told the CBC. "They load six loads last night, they're going, and now I think they're going to load two more loads. The drums and totes and everything from Quebec."
The quantity of maple syrup seized in the August Quebec heist was never made public, although the warehouse where the syrup was stolen from contained 3.75 million liters, according to the Star. That amount would be enough to fill 1½ Olympic swimming pools, the paper reported.
Santo Landry, an attorney for St. Pierre, denied his client was involved in the maple syrup theft.
Landry told the Star that his client buys maple syrup all over Quebec Province and that St. Pierre bought the syrup at regular price, leaving him with no reason to believe the commodity was stolen.
“We can’t easily identify the syrup, it’s not like buying a car or buying a house,” Landry told the Star. “At the moment, there’s a presumption that the product that was bought ... was in no way related to a deceitful transaction.”