Concealing Cocaine in international shipments can be bananas: RCMP

Kelowna, West Kelowna

2021-01-19 10:32 PST

File # 2019-9987

Kelowna Regional RCMP has now concluded an international drug investigation after nearly two dozen bricks of Cocaine were found in banana shipments, which arrived in the Central Okanagan back in February 2019.

On February 24, 2019, a local Kelowna grocery store reported finding twelve large bricks of what they believed were illicit drugs in a recent shipment of bananas. The packages, which weighed approximately one kilogram each, were seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Kelowna for further investigation into its origins and intended destination.

Later that day, West Kelowna RCMP also received a call from a grocer after they reportedly uncovered what they believed to be suspected drugs in their banana shipment. Front line officers attended and seized an additional nine individually wrapped packages, which also weighed approximately one kilogram each, for continued investigation.

A collage of photos captured by investigators as they examined the banana boxes
view larger image: A collage of photos captured by investigators as they examined the banana boxes

The contents of the 21 packages have since been analyzed and their contents confirmed as Cocaine.

The drug section of the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit worked collaboratively with the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) to determine that these shipments originated in Colombia, says Cpl. Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP Drug Section. Our investigation leads us to believe these illicit drugs were not meant to end up in the Central Okanagan, and arrived here in the Okanagan Valley as a result of a missed pickup at some point along the way.

Experts estimate the two surprise shipments, alone, of nearly pure cocaine once cut with other agents, would have introduced upwards of 800,000 doses of crack cocaine into the Canadian illicit drug market. That’s enough contraband for every resident in the City of Kelowna to receive nearly 6 doses each. These two seizures in the BC southern interior no doubt saved precious lives across Canada.

The RCMP remains concerned and committed to interdicting any substance or product that may put the safety and security of Canadians at risk.
 

Released by

Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy

Media Relations Officer
Kelowna RCMP
1190 Richter St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 2K7
Office: 250-470-6361
Cell: 250-212-2249

Email: Kelowna_Media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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