Saint John, New Brunswick, January 26, 2012 - The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) today announced two seizures totalling 28 kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $3.5 million at the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick.
"Our officers are Canada's first line of defense in seizing illegal drugs," says Andrew LeFrank, Regional Director General, CBSA Atlantic Region. "Today as we celebrate International Customs Day, we want to remind Canadians of the important work our officers do to protect our borders and keep our country safe."
On August 25, 2011, while conducting a secondary examination of a marine container, CBSA officers discovered the drugs in a shipment of pineapples originating in Guyana, South America and destined for Scarborough, Ontario. With the assistance of x-ray technology and detector dog services, border services officers detected anomalies with the pineapples.
In total, 19 kg of cocaine was seized from 80 pineapples scattered throughout 44 boxes of the shipment.
The CBSA contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Saint John City Police. A subsequent investigation by the RCMP resulted in charges against six individuals in Ontario.
On October 11, 2011, CBSA officers discovered similar concealment methods in another shipment of pineapples from Guyana and destined for Brampton, Ontario. Using the same secondary examination tools, CBSA officers found nine kg of cocaine in 156 boxes.
The CBSA contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Saint John City Police and three Ontario males were arrested as a result of the seizure.
The cocaine in both shipments, in plug and pellet forms, was concealed within the pineapples' core.
The CBSA works closely with the RCMP and other law enforcement partners, like the Saint John Police Force, to prevent drugs and other contraband from entering Canada. If you have witnessed or are aware of an incident involving suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060.
For media information:
CBSA Atlantic Region Communications