Just before dawn on Thursday morning, the authorities raided the sketchy apartment northwest Toronto complex where mayor Rob Ford's (alleged!) crack-smoking video may have been stashed — and where rival Somali drug gangs have reportedly been at political war with each other over the missing tape, fake videos starring a Ford lookalike named Slurpy and all. And, ahem, "rival gangs involved in allegedly running drugs and guns are the target of the raids," reports The Toronto Star, "focused on the north Etobicoke neighbourhood that is ground zero for the Rob Ford crack video scandal" and taking a computer with them as evidence. The Globe and Mail has a bit more specificity, reporting that the site of the Toronto and Ontario police bust was 320 Dixon Road — the exact building Ford reportedly pinpointed as the where the (alleged!) video was being stash when he told his aides "not to worry" it. That address is also the same one where Star reporters say they watched the video. One of the men pictured in a photo with Ford had his home visited during the riad.
The National Post's Megan O'Toole visited the complex last month, and spoke with a man who told her that the video was stashed in unit 1703 "at some point." The tenant of that unit then proceded to tell her of an elaborate plot on behalf of a pro-Ford camp inside the complex — "that Somali gang members who support the mayor are angry at the video's sellers; and that he and his friends briefly considered making a fraudulent crack video starring an acquaintance and Rob Ford lookalike nicknamed 'Slurpy,' in an attempt to discredit the real thing."
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So, yes, this is getting absolutely bonkers, and now the Toronto police may be making moves on the complex for reasons either connected or not connected to the mayor of the city. It could, of course, just be strange timing that police raided targeted the exact complex where the video is thought to be stashed. But regardless of intent, the raid probably isn't going to encourage whoever may have the video to come forward to the media. The original sellers have already been keeping a low profile, and Gawker and its pot of $200,000 weren't enough to obtain the video. Gawker editor John Cook wrote on June 4 that the owner of the video told him the crack-smoking film was "gone," though an intermediary told him that a copy exists outside of Toronto.
Police are expected to hold a 12 p.m. briefing to clear this up — and maybe more — and Ford is expected to show up at a city council meeting as well.
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- Rob Ford