U.S.-bound truckload of Alberta beef disappears

Over $230,000 in JBS beef hasn't turned up, RCMP says

Security camera image of a person sought by RCMP in connection to the disappearance of beef from the JBS plant at Brooks, Alta. (Photo courtesy Brooks RCMP)

A reefer truck loaded with over $230,000 in beef from the JBS plant at Brooks, Alta. is more than two weeks overdue and alleged to be travelling on “fraudulent documents,” RCMP say.

Brooks RCMP said Monday they’re investigating after a transport truck that was subcontracted to haul a full load of beef from the JBS plant to the U.S. “failed to make its delivery” on Aug. 30.

It’s since been found that the truck was allegedly operating not only under fraudulent documents but a “fraudulent name,” listed as “Transport Pascal Charland” out of Chateauguay, Que., RCMP said.

Police described the truck as a burgundy semi with a large bunk, pulling a white refrigerated trailer.

Their suspect is described as a “slightly balding” Caucasian male with short brown hair, tall with a heavy build and wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt, yellow fluorescent vest and a surgical mask.

The same trucking company name and location were alleged to have been given in a separate case involving disappearing hot tubs, Thorsby RCMP said in a separate release on Sept. 4.

A numbered company name, 10036218 Canada Inc., was also given in that case, RCMP said.

A flat-deck trailer, hitched to an unmarked white Volvo semi, is alleged to have been loaded up on Sept. 2 with seven Arctic Spas hot tubs “without legal authority” and driven off from the Arctic Spas manufacturing plant at Thorsby, about 50 km southwest of Edmonton.

Thorsby RCMP described their suspect as a Caucasian male aged 30-40, about five feet six inches tall with a heavy build and short brown hair.

Anyone with information on the vanishing beef is asked to call Brooks RCMP at 403-794-4400 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anyone with information on the missing hot tubs is asked to call Crime Stoppers at the same number or call Thorsby RCMP at 780-789-3613. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

Chicago | Reuters -- U.S. soybean futures sank to their lowest level in more than six weeks on Friday as fears over the coronavirus spreading from China triggered broad-based selling. Corn and wheat futures also weakened as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a second U.S. case of the new virus in Chicago. The discovery further spooked traders after the outbreak in China killed 26 people and infected more than 800. The virus is expected to dent growth in China, the world's top importer of soybeans, after months of economic worries over trade tensions with the United States. Equities and other commodities including oil and copper fell as investors moved into safe-haven assets. "It's risk-off everywhere," said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist for Zaner Group in Chicago. The most actively traded Chicago Board of Trade soybean contract dropped 0.8 per cent to $9.02 a bushel and reached its lowest price since Dec. 12 (all figures US$). CBOT wheat shed 1.5 per cent to close at $5.73-1/2 a bushel, while corn slid 1.8 per cent to $3.87-1/4. Traders and farmers continued to wait for signs of increased Chinese buying of U.S. farm goods after Beijing pledged to significantly increase imports in an initial trade deal the countries signed last week. The agreement is meant to reduce tensions after nearly two years of a tit-for-tat tariff war. "The stigma on soybeans of China not buying is a problem," Seifried said. Soybeans are the biggest U.S. crop export to China and the oilseed market has been particularly sensitive to developments in the trade dispute. Brazil, a rival soybean supplier, is expected to harvest a massive crop, providing stiff competition for sales to China. "There has been bearish supply news out of South America via a monster Brazilian crop, but I think the majority of the selling of late is coming from this coronavirus story," said John Payne, senior futures and options broker for Daniels Trading in Chicago. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported total export sales of U.S. soybeans in the week ended Jan. 16 were 910,700 tonnes, in line with trade expectations for 700,000 to 1.3 million tonnes. Weekly U.S. wheat sales were 741,900 tonnes, near the high end of estimates for 300,000 to 800,000 tonnes, while corn sales reached one million tonnes, within expectations for 700,000 to 1.2 million tonnes. USDA separately said private exporters sold 142,428 tonnes of U.S. corn to unknown destinations, the second announcement in as many days. -- Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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