Category: Island Talk Created on Thursday, 28 June 2012 06:20
Acting on a tip from Trinidad, a total of 170 kilograms of cocaine from Guyana was seized in two separate drug busts by officials at the Port of Saint John, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced.
The drugs, which have an estimated street value of more than $21million, were discovered in shipments arriving at the port on May 29 and June 5.
The cocaine was hidden in hollowed-out wood pallets used to transport food products from Guyana, said Don Collins, CBSA director of the southern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island district.
"These were grooved out on both sides," he said, holding up one of the boards for reporters during a news conference.
Slim, plastic packages, each containing about one third of a kilogram of cocaine, were then glued inside the boards, Collins explained.
While the cocaine came from Guyana — where cocaine-stuffed pineapples seized at the port last year also originated from — officials don't believe it was manufactured there.
It's unclear where the drugs came from, but the shipping containers were destined for the Toronto area, they said.
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer stationed in Trinidad got a tip about the drugs from Guyana, and border officials were advised to be on the lookout, said RCMP Superintendant Rick Penny, drug enforcement commander for the greater Toronto area.
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 from Guyana 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 have been charged in that case.
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 from Guyana at the Saint John port in two seizures between August and October, totalling 28 kilograms.
"It exits through Guyana and it enters into Canada. It's not that Guyana is a problem; it's part of the route," said Penny.
Picture credit to CSFEU-BC
Follow Us On Twitter
Market Place Adverts
Located on the north shore of Jamaica, near the town of Oracabessa, GoldenEye is where author Ian Fleming created super…