Canada seizes cocaine from Guyana-origin cargo

Canada seizes cocaine from Guyana-origin cargo

Friday, 22 June 2012 Demerara Waves

CBC Canada_A total of 170 kilograms of cocaine was seized in two separate drug busts at the Port of Saint John, Canada Border Services Agency officials announced Friday.

The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $21 million, officials said.

The cocaine was hidden in specially altered wood pallets used to transport food products from Guyana. The shipping containers were destined for the Toronto area.

Eight Ontario men, ranging in age from 31 to 70, have been charged with importing, conspiracy to import and possession for the purpose of trafficking, according to the RCMP.  

Pallets with cocaine

“This is a very significant seizure here in our region,” Andrew LeFrank, regional director general for CBSA, Atlantic region, stated in a release.

“We have kept hundreds of thousands of doses of this dangerous drug off our streets, and kept the profits out of the pockets of drug smugglers,” he said.

Discovered during secondary searches

On May 29, while conducting a secondary examination of a marine container, CBSA officers using X-ray technology detected anomalies with the wooden pallets in a shipment of sauces, seasonings and noodles destined for Mississauga, officials said.

The pallet boards had been hollowed out and filled with bags of cocaine, totalling about 121 kilograms.

Five men have been charged in connection with that seizure and are scheduled to appear in court on July 9.

On June 5, CBSA officers discovered similar concealment methods in another shipment of food products destined for a business area in North York and 49 kilograms of cocaine was seized.

Three men are charged in that case and are scheduled to appear in court in Toronto Friday.

New Brunswick RCMP Federal Operations West, CBSA, the RCMP in the Greater Toronto Area and Saint John police participated in the seizures.

Last year, RCMP and border officials intercepted cocaine-stuffed pineapples at the port.

There were two seizures between August and October, totalling 28 kilograms. The estimated street value was $3.5 million.

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