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DRUG DEALER TURNS VACATION RENTAL INTO METH LAB
Police are warning Montreal property owners to be wary of using vacation rental services in the wake of arresting Philip Pepinau, a notorious drug dealer who has used several dozen apartments across Montreal as meth labs.
“Mr. Pepinau has spent the last four years in Montreal turning short-term rental properties into make shift meth labs,” says Sgt. Mason Peralta of the SPVM. “He used GroundBnB and similar services to find suitable locations to cook up crystal meth. He would rent these apartment out for a period two weeks to two months, make several batches of poor man’s cocaine, then pack up and scout for a new location. This went on a very long time. We are working to figure out which apartments have been rented out by Mr. Pepinau in order to inform their owners about the health risks they now pose."
Police say short term rental services have enabled an entirely new class of criminal activity. “In the past, meth dealers would often struggle to find suitable locations for their dastardly deeds,” says Sgt. Peralta. “These days however, all you need to be successful as an evil chemist is an internet browser and a bit of patience, and before you know it, you too can be baking chicken feed in a total stranger’s apartment. The internet has enabled evil and empowered evil doers."
GroundBnB says that police concerns are overblown. “Okay, yah, some of our members use our apartments to make crystal meth, that’s not a big deal” says spokesperson Hetalia Denada. “It really doesn’t happen all that often. According to our in-house statistics, only one out twenty rentals involve drug dealers. Those are very good odds, much better than Russian roulette."
Melissa Babillard, a former GroundBnB hostess, says she now suffers from a host pulmonary issues after her apartment was rented out to Mr. Pepinau. “My entire apartment was contaminated by that meth lab. I ended up having to move out. Worst of all, GroundBnB hasn’t offered us any help. If you read their terms of service, they explicitly state they’re not liable if a renter turns your apartment into a meth lab."
“That’s right,” says Hetalia. “People really should read the terms of services they agree too."
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