Police intercept 100kg of party drugs hidden inside 500 sacks of rice in a shipping container entering Canada from India
By Joel Christie
- Container was inspected by border control at the Port of Montreal
- Officers Officers found a total of 73kg of ketamine and 24 kilograms of a drug called norephedrine, which is commonly used to make amphetamines
- Three men have been arrested and charged with importing a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense
Three men have been arrested on major drug smuggling charges in Ontario after police intercepted large amounts of a popular party drug hidden inside rice bags shipped from India to Canada.
Canada Border Services Agency at the Port of Montreal made the discovery while inspecting a Toronto-bound sea container carrying more than 500 sacks of rice, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
The search lead to a seizure of almost 100kg of drugs.
Police say most of the bags - 73 kilograms - were ketamine, a sedative that emerged on the North American illicit market in the aftermath of the rave explosion and continues to be widely used,
Sprung: Three Ontario residents are facing charges after almost 100 kg of street drugs were found hidden in rice sacks shipped from India. The RCMP says officers with the Canada Border Services Agency at the Port of Montreal made the discovery while inspecting a Toronto-bound sea container carrying more than 500 bags of rice. Police say about 73 kilograms of ketamine and 24 kilograms of norephedrine were concealed in some of the sacks. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
Illicit: Officers with the Canada Border Services Agency at the Port of Montreal made the discovery while inspecting a Toronto-bound sea container carrying more than 500 bags of rice from India
And addition 24 kilograms of the drug norephedrine was also concealed in some of the sacks.
Norephedrine is a stimulant commonly used to make amphetamines and other illicit drugs, police said.
Police have not released a street value of the drugs, however 1 kilogram of ketamine worth an estimated $20,000, making part of the the stash worth over $1.4 million.
RCMP officers from Toronto's airport detachment arrested three men at a business in the city on July 27 and charged them with importing a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense.
Itolo Mallozzi, 57, of Dufferin County, Ont., remains in custody, while Kevin Gowanlock, 49, of Orillia, Ont., and Amritbal Gill, 35, of Brampton, Ont., were released on bail.
'Organized crime plays a major role in smuggling illegal drugs into Canada,' Inspector Dean DICKSON, Team Commander of the RCMP’s Toronto Airport Detachment GTA Serious & Organized Crime section, said in a RCMP release about the seizure.
'The RCMP is determined to fight organized crime in order to provide safe homes and safe communities for all Canadians.
Three Ontario men are facing charges after police say they found large amounts of a 'rave' drug and an amphetamine precursor hidden in rice sacks shipped from India
'The result of this investigation demonstrates how the RCMP and its partner agencies work effectively together to keep illegal drugs out of our communities.'
Pierre Provost, Acting Regional Director General for the CBSA, Quebec Region, said police had made intercepting drugs coming into the country a priority.
'Keeping illicit drugs out of our communities is a CBSA priority,' he said.
'Our officers use a multifaceted approach based on risk assessment, intelligence and advanced technologies to target illegal shipments.
'They also work closely with their national and international partners to prevent the trade of illegal drugs through international borders.'
The three suspects are scheduled to appear in court September 2.