NEWS

Halifax Border guards reveal trigger for drug bust

04/30/2012 10:30 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT

The Canadian Border Services Agency is showing off for the first time how border guards managed to stop a drug deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The chain of events actually began on May 19, 2009 in Halifax.

Border guards singled out a container at the terminal and sent it for x-rays.

"The importer was usually bringing metal-related items, whether it was metal wiring or metal rod, and in this case, it was declaring bales of cottons," said Dominique Mallette of the Canada Border Services Agency.

The scan showed something dense at the back of the container. When inspectors measured the space, they found the 40 foot container was just 35 feet long.

"The answer was the false wall," Mallette said.

Behind that false wall, inspectors found 5,700 kilograms of hashish. Mallette said that would have a value of $114.5 million dollars. The drugs, which had originated in Karachi, Pakistan, were destined for Montreal.

That discovery then sparked a massive investigation by the National Port Enforcement Team that spanned several years.

On April 19, the RCMP announced nine people were charged in Montreal for trafficking another 43 tonnes of hashish.

"We're very happy as an agency to be the leader or the initiating agency, if you will, as the result of this particular seizure," Mallette said.

"$860 million is money that is not going to organized crime, that is not going to be used to conduct further criminal activity."

The nine people arrested face charges of conspiracy, importing and possession of cannabis resin for the purpose of trafficking.

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