Police at the Port of Halifax have seized over 200 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the back of a shipping container.
The drugs, which officials believe were shipped by an organized crime ring, have an estimated street value of over $10 million, border services agents said Thursday.
“They arrived in Canada on Feb. 8 on a vessel originating in Chile,” said Andrew LeFrank, director of the Nova Scotia district of the Canadian Border Services Agency. “A significant seizure of this amount obviously means there’s a great quantity of drugs that won’t be reaching our streets.”
The cocaine was wrapped in 22 long, cylindrical packages and then stuffed into six large bags that showed up on X-ray scans of the inside of the container, LeFrank said.
“We were conducting an examination on the waterfront and we selected some of the containers for inspection,” he explained. “Officers recognized that there was something in the container that didn’t look like it was supposed to be there.”
What was supposed to be there was common household mouldings, arranged on pallets. The ship made one stop in Peru after leaving port in Chile, officials said, but it’s still unclear where the drugs were loaded into the container — or where they were supposed to end up.
“As it stands right now there’s no indication of any specific destination,” said Supt. Brian Brennan, the RCMP’s federal policing officer in Nova Scotia. “Traditionally, large shipments of drugs coming into the port are then distributed (to the rest of Canada).”
According to LeFrank, a seizure of this magnitude is rare — but not unheard of in Halifax.
The cocaine has now been turned over to the RCMP, which will be conducting an investigation before destroying the entire shipment. No arrests have been made in connection with the seizure.