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‘Cocaine bananas’ accidentally shipped to grocers in bungled drug deal

Drugs came from Colombia, investigators believe

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 20 January 2021 17:55 GMT
Packages weighed around 1kg each
Packages weighed around 1kg each (RCMP)

Some 21 bricks of cocaine hidden in banana shipments ended up at grocery shops in Canada following a bungled drug-trafficking operation, authorities have confirmed.

A local store owner in Kelowna, a small town in Central Okanagan, British Columbia province, alerted authorities after finding 12 packages of what appeared to be cocaine among a banana shipment on 24 February 2019.

The packages were seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for further investigation into their origins and intended destination.

Later that day, a second grocery shop owner contacted RCMP saying they had also discovered what they believed was a haul of the Class-A drug.

Front line officers attended and confiscated an additional nine individually wrapped bundles.

Kelowna RCMP and Canada's Border Service Agency (CBSA) subsequently launched an investigation, which concluded on Tuesday and confirmed the packages, each weighing around 1kg, were cocaine.

Investigators said the cocaine had come from Colombia and ended up in Kelowna as a result of a failed drug deal.

"The drug section of the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit worked collaboratively with the CBSA to determine that these shipments originated in Colombia," Cpl Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP Drug Section said in a statement.

"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 estimated that the packages would have introduced upwards of 800,000 doses of crack cocaine into the Canadian illicit drug market, according to Kelowna RCMP.

That's enough for every resident in the City of Kelowna to receive nearly 6 doses each, the force added.

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