Cocaine seizure from shipment of Apples, Pineapples and Mangoes leads to arrests

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - As a result of a joint investigation between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Drug Enforcement Section and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), in the Greater Toronto Area, four (4) people were arrested for cocaine related offences.

Last week, an RCMP investigation assisted CBSA officers at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in discovering cocaine concealed in an air freight shipment. The cocaine was located in hollowed out star apples. In total, twenty (20) kgs of cocaine was seized from the fruit contained in 17 boxes. The star apples were part of a larger shipment that included pineapples and mangoes. The shipment was sent by air freight from Guyana to Toronto. It was addressed to a falsified Toronto area business.

Police rapidly deployed a team of investigators to identify those responsible for sending and receiving this shipment. RCMP investigators identified the Canada-based subjects involved in this criminal enterprise and their co-conspirators in Guyana and the USA.

"CBSA officers are the first line of defence and are trained to stop narcotics at the border," said Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General, Canada Border Services Agency, Greater Toronto Area Region. "I want to congratulate the officers involved in this seizure for helping to keep our community safe. The successful results of this investigation show the great benefits of partnering with other law enforcement agencies."

"We have successfully interdicted several cocaine shipments in recent months," stated Superintendent Rick Penney, RCMP GTA Drug Enforcement Commander. "As we identify and stop methods employed by organized crime groups they will, no doubt, come up with new ways to bring illicit drugs into Canada. For this reason we must remain diligent and continue to build partnerships within Canada and the international law enforcement community to combat organized crime."

The following people were arrested and charged with drug related offences:

  • Susan Geneva O'NEIL (age 28) of Scarborough, ON
  • Basil Barnett BLAIR (age 63) of Toronto, ON
  • Metussala Madela MANNINGS (age 27) of Toronto, ON
  • Kenneth Arthur WONG (age 38) of Ajax, ON

They appeared on February 2nd, 2012 at Brampton Courthouse for bail hearings.

For photos related to this investigation please visit the following link:

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information:

Kevin Nicholson, S/Sgt
RCMP GTA Drug Section
(905) 876-9671

Antonella DiGirolamo
GTA Media Relations CBSA
(905) 803-5366


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