An Ontario resident was arrested Friday morning by the Sûreté du Québec in connection with the murder of Bernard Cherfan, committed June 1, in the middle of a Laval restaurant.
Posted at 2:16 p.m
According to our information, suspect Britney Lewis, 25, was arrested in her hometown of Pickering, Durham, Ontario.
She was initially scheduled to appear in Ontario before being repatriated to Quebec. She is then charged in the Laval courthouse with first-degree murder and complicity, suggesting she would have been directly involved in the crime.
In February 2020, an Ontario medium that Durham Postreported that Mme Lewis, then 23, was arrested with others in a car in Pickering, where officers found a loaded handgun and various types of drugs.
In July 2021, she was reportedly arrested again in a vehicle and charged with possession of cocaine for trafficking. In the same vehicle was a man who was trying to flee from police and who was charged with possession of a loaded firearm, other Ontario media reported.
Mme Lewis has no criminal record in Quebec.
In a press release, the Sûreté du Québec indicates that the investigation is continuing and further arrests could follow “soon”.
Cherfan, 42, was killed by at least one bullet in the head while eating soup at La perle vietnamienne restaurant on Boulevard des Laurentides.
The murder, which took place at 7:25 p.m., was committed in front of several stunned customers, including children.
The Laval police quickly transferred the investigation to the Sûreté du Québec as the murder was allegedly linked to organized crime.
According to our information, Bernard Cherfan, believed to be a member of the Lebanese underworld, would have had ties to several high-level criminal organizations, including the Sicilian clan of the Montreal Mafia and who police still consider their leader, Stefano Sollecito.
Cherfan was also suspected of hiding hitman Frédérick Silva during his long escape, an SPVM investigator testified in court.
Bernard Cherfan once owned companies that claimed to be in construction, real estate, advertising, and cell phones. According to a source familiar with his activities, he provided several people with encrypted communications devices that could be used to thwart surveillance by authorities.
According to our information, Cherfan would have been heavily involved in fraud, especially grandparent fraud.
He would have accumulated a lot of debts and the police do not rule out that these could be the motive for the crime.
However, investigators are looking for more clues.
Another relative of Frédérick Silva, Sébastien Giroux, 36, was shot dead in Montreal on May 11. He had subsequently pleaded guilty to an accessory to murder and was awaiting conviction before going to jail.
In recent years, police investigations have shown on several occasions that persons accused or suspected of murder have been moving in and out between Quebec and Ontario and that there appears to be a circuit of this criminal work between the two provinces.
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