Canada busts int’l drug racket with links to India, US

Twenty-five of those arrested are Punjabi men from the Indian-dominated city of Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto…reports Asian Lite News.

An Indo-Canadian drug racket with links to the US and India has been busted with the arrest of 33 persons, who were charged with over 130 criminal offences, officials said.

Ten kg of cocaine, 8 kg of ketamine, 3 kg of heroin, 2.5 kg of opium, 48 firearms and $730,000 in Canadian currency have been seized under the ‘Operation Cheetah’.

Among the 33, 27 were arrested and charged in the Greater Toronto Area, with 19 of them hailing from the town of Brampton. Of these, 23 are of Punjabi origin. One suspect, Gurbinder Sooch, remains at large.

The arrests and drug seizure come after the year-long ‘Operation Cheetah’ culminated in raids last week, which were carried out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the US Drug Enforcement Administration and regional police forces in Ontario, British Columbia and California, resulting in the arrest of 33 people.

Twenty-five of those arrested are Punjabi men from the Indian-dominated city of Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto.

They have been identified as Parshotem Malhi, 54, Rupinder Dhillion, 37, Sanveer Singh, 25, Haripal Nagra, 45, Pritpal Singh, 56, Harkiran Singh, 33, Lakhpreet Brar, 29, Balwinder Dhaliwal, 60, Sukhmanpreet Singh, 23, Khushal Bhinder, 36, Prabhjeet Mundian, 34, Vansh Arora, 24, Simranjeet Narang, 28, Gaganpreet Gill, 28, Sukjit Dhaliwal, 47, Harjot Singh, 31, and Sukhjit Dhugga, 35.

Gurbinder Sooch, 41, with no fixed address, has also been arrested.

These men smuggled cocaine, ketamine, heroin and opium into Canada and distributed them through their underground network.

They face various criminal offences, including conspiracies to import banned substances, drug smuggling, and possession of property obtained by crime.

The York Regional Police said that some of the drugs were found at “kids indoor playground”.

Officers seized drugs valued at approximately $2.3 million and including 10 kg of cocaine, 8 kg of ketamine, 3 kg of heroin and 2.5 kg of opium. Investigators also seized 48 firearms and $730,000 in Canadian currency. Most of the weapons were seized from Caledon. Police say the guns were lawfully possessed by a person who now faces charges.

Cocaine and other drugs smuggled into Canada come from California and are brought in by the truckers. A few months back, a Punjabi trucker named Amanpreet Sandhu from Calgary was arrested while smuggling drugs worth over $28 million – a record in Canada.
India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had shared vital inputs with Canada and the US in the last two years over the racket being run from Canadian soil. The Indian agencies had, in different operations in the last three years, found drugs were transported to Canada from Punjab in vessels, electronic machines and even in holy books.

In one case, the NCB had traced smuggling of cocaine to Punjab from Canada for local use as well as further trafficking to Delhi and Goa. Sources said that the follow-up probe would lead to the arrest of a number of international smugglers based out of Canada, Italy and Australia who were wanted by security agencies in India.

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