A fruit-grinding machine shipped from Argentina to Kelowna, B.C., was found to contain almost 100 kilograms of cocaine when examined by border agents at a vehicle crossing south of Vancouver, police say.
The agents were suspicious because the two-tonne machine was slightly overweight when it showed up at the Pacific Highway crossing Sept. 22.
One of the reasons the shipment was selected for further examination was the excessive weight, Robert Carmichael, spokesman for the Canadian Border Services Agency, said Tuesday.
Agents took the machine apart and found and extracted the nearly $4 million worth of cocaine, said Carmichael.
The machine was re-assembled and police delivered it to its Kelowna destination, where arrests were eventually made, said RCMP Const. Michael McLaughlin.
Two West Kelowna men were arrested Oct. 4 and have been charged with importing and trafficking cocaine.
McLaughlin said investigators are still looking to execute arrest warrants against two more men, including a Mexican national.
Last week, an estimated $9 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine were found in patio stones and lawn ornaments in Vancouver.
Six people were arrested in connection with that seizure.
There's no evidence yet the two cases are linked, McLaughlin said
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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