Drugs found in a shipping container of rice; three arrested

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - A joint investigation between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has resulted in the arrest of three Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents for illegally importing approximately 72.8 kilograms of Ketamine and 23.5 kilograms of Norephedrine.

This investigation began when CBSA officers at the Port of Montreal, inspected a Toronto-bound sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice that originated from India. Upon further examination of the container, CBSA officers discovered a significant amount of Ketamine and Norephedrine concealed in a number of the rice sacks. CBSA officers contacted the RCMP in Montreal, which subsequently advised the RCMP GTA Serious and Organized Crime section about the drug shipment.  The RCMP, along with our partner agencies, conducted a local investigation in order to identify the individuals responsible for illegally importing the Ketamine and Norephedrine into Canada. For photos, please visit the Ontario RCMP Newsroom and click on the associated news release.

As a result of this investigation, on July 27, RCMP Toronto Airport Detachment investigators attended a commercial establishment in the area of Highway 27 and Woodbine Avenue in Toronto and arrested three male suspects.

"Organized crime plays a major role in smuggling illegal drugs into Canada. The RCMP is determined to fight organized crime in order to provide safe homes and safe communities for all Canadians," said Inspector Dean DICKSON, Team Commander of the RCMP's Toronto Airport Detachment GTA Serious & Organized Crime section. "The result of this investigation demonstrates how the RCMP and its partner agencies work effectively together to keep illegal drugs out of our communities."

"The CBSA places a high priority on the detection and interdiction of illicit drugs to keep these out of our communities. Our officers use a multifaceted approach based on risk assessment, intelligence and advanced technologies to target illegal shipments. They also work closely with their national and international partners to prevent the trade of illegal drugs through international borders," said Pierre Provost, Acting Regional Director General for the CBSA, Quebec Region.

The RCMP charged the following individuals with offences relating to this investigation:

  • Itolo MALLOZZI (57) of Dufferin County, Ontario
  • Kevin GOWANLOCK (49) of Orillia, Ontario
  • Amritbal GILL (35) of Brampton, Ontario

Charges are:

  • Importing a controlled substance into Canada contrary to section 6(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA)
  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence contrary to section 465 (1)(c) of the Criminal Code

MALLOZZI is currently in custody. GOWANLOCK and GILL have been released on bail and are next scheduled to appear at Old City Hall Courthouse in Toronto on September 2, 2014.

Ketamine emerged on the North American illicit market in the aftermath of the rave explosion. It is often mixed with other illicit drugs such as MDMA or methamphetamine.  In the last several years, increased seizures and trafficking of Ketamine in Canada have indicated a renewed organized crime interest in the drug.

Norephedrine (also known as PPA) is often used as a precursor chemical to produce amphetamines, 4-methylaminorex and other illicit drugs.

The RCMP would like to acknowledge the assistance of the CBSA, Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police during this investigation.

Help make your community a safer place to live! If you have information on this type of cross-border crime, please contact the Ontario RCMP at 1-800-387-0020, the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS).

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information:

RCMP Media Relations,
"O" Division (Ontario)
Telephone: 416-992-4409

Website:   RCMP in Ontario
Twitter:      @RCMPONT
Facebook:  RCMP.Ontario
YouTube:  RCMPGRCPOLICE

CBSA Media Relations,
Quebec Region
Telephone: 514-350-6130

Website: CBSA.GC.CA
Twitter: @CanBorder
Facebook: CanBorder
YouTube: CanBorder.