Bricks of cocaine from Colombia found in Okanagan grocers' banana orders | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bricks of cocaine from Colombia found in Okanagan grocers' banana orders

A collage of photos captured by investigators as they examined the banana boxes.
January 19, 2021 - 1:42 PM

Two Central Okanagan grocers got a surprise in their fruit shipments one strange day in 2019 and the RCMP are today sharing insights into the incident.

A Kelowna grocery store reported Feb. 24, 2019 it found 12 large bricks of what they believed were illicit drugs in a recent shipment of bananas, Kelowna RCMP said in a press release.

The packages, which weighed approximately one kilogram each, were seized by the RCMP in Kelowna for further investigation into its origins and intended destination.

Later that day, West Kelowna RCMP also received a call from a grocer after they uncovered what they believed to be suspected drugs in their banana shipment. Officers attended and seized an additional nine individually-wrapped packages, which also weighed approximately one kilogram each, for continued investigation.

The contents of the 21 packages have since been analyzed and their contents confirmed as cocaine.

"The drug section of the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit worked collaboratively with the Canada Border Service Agency to determine that these shipments originated in Colombia," Cpl. Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP Drug Section said in the release.

"Our investigation leads us to believe these illicit drugs were not meant to end up in the Central Okanagan, and arrived here in the Okanagan Valley as a result of a missed pickup at some point along the way."

Experts estimate the two surprise shipments, alone, of nearly pure cocaine, once cut with other agents, would have introduced upwards of 800,000 doses of crack cocaine into the Canadian illicit drug market. That’s enough contraband for every resident in the City of Kelowna to receive nearly six doses each.

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