Over the weekend, Whatì RCMP seized 449 bottles of alcohol on the winter road leading to both the communities of Whatì and Gameti.

In total, police seized 150 375 ml bottles of alcohol, 292 cans of beer, five 1.15 L bottles, one 750 ml and one 200 ml bottle during several seizures between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Both Whatì and Gameti are dry communities.

RCMP say they suspect the alcohol was not just for personal use but to be resold in the communities as well.

According to police, the going rate for one 375 ml bottle in Whatì is $80; the bottles that size they seized alone have an estimated street value of $12,000.

Cst. Samuel Holm, a spokesperson for the RCMP, told Moose FM that it’s not uncommon to see a spike in alcohol being smuggled in around this time of year.

“We see it more when the ice road’s starting to deteriorate,” he explained.

“Before it breaks down and that road of access is limited, people will try and make a last run and try and bring in more significant quantities at that point.”

Police are taking the seizures as an opportunity to “advise the people of the community that they are compassionate about the issues that lead to substance abuse” according to a press release.

Wha’Ti Detachment Commander Cpl. Jordan Forman added:  “The RCMP would like to reaffirm our commitment to investigate those who are selling alcohol illegally to people in the community.

“These people are at times known to sell to youth and other vulnerable individuals. These seizures will help curtail the problems that come along with the abuse of alcohol such as mischief and violent crime.”