On Monday Ontario provincial police officers unveiled details of a massive seizure of more than one metric tonne of pure cocaine.
Officials with the OPP said this is the largest seizure of the same drug in its history.
The intercontinental investigation allowed police to get their hands on 1062 kilos of pure cocaine.
According to police, the value of the seizure is $60 million at the wholesale price, but the potential street value, once the cocaine is mixed with other substances, is about $250 million.
The drug was imported from Argentina by ship into containers. It was delivered to the Port of Montreal for distribution in Ontario.
Authorities had remained very discreet about the case and it was only on Monday that the media were informed of the arrest and indictment of three suspects in Ontario a few months ago.
Luis Enrique Karim-Altamirano, 52, of Vaughn and Mauricio Antonio Medina-Gatica, 36, of Brampton, were both indicted on May 1 for importing and possessing narcotics, among others. The first person remains in custody while the second has been granted a conditional release.
The third suspect, Iban Orozco-Lomeli, 45, of Toronto, appeared on July 10 on the same charges and was also released on bail.
The Ontario Provincial Police explained that they worked with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for several months to identify and locate suspicious containers, allowing them to discover various cocaine caches in a warehouse at the Port of Montreal and Stoney Creek, Ontario.
“Because of the amount of seized cocaine seized … we have prevented many criminals from doing more harm to our communities while subtracting a quarter of a billion dollars from the criminal economy,” he said. Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Vince Hawkes.
The survey was conducted by the OPP ‘s Office of Organized Crime (BLCO) in partnership with the CBSA, Peel Regional Police in Ontario, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) and the US Agency for Drug Enforcement (DEA).
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.