Ontario Provincial Police seize 1,062kg of pure cocaine valued at $250 million

An OPP-led task force has made the biggest cocaine seizure in its history.

Ontario Provincial Police say the wide-ranging international probe netted 1,062 kilos of pure cocaine, with a street value of a staggering $250 million - writes lfpress.

According to investigators, three Greater Toronto Area men were the masterminds behind to plot to flood Canadian streets with cocaine imported from Argentina.

The trio was linked to a smuggling operation that used ocean-going freighters to transport the drugs, packed in shipping containers.

At the Port of Montreal, the OPP worked with the Canadian Border Services Agency to identify the containers.

The Bolivian marching powder would then be cut and distributed throughout Ontario. The drugs were linked to similar caches of cocaine at CBSA warehouses in Montreal and Stoney Creek, Ont.

“The OPP recognize that illegal drugs cause grievous harm and threaten community safety,” OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes said Monday. “With the amount of pure cocaine seized during Project HOPE, we’ve stopped many criminals from causing more harm to our communities while removing a quarter of a billion dollars from the criminal economy.”

Agencies involved in the bust were: OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau (POIB) in partnership with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Peel Regional Police, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Luis Enrique Karim-Altamarano, 52, of Vaughan, is charged with importation of a controlled substance — cocaine, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, and driving while disqualified.

Also charged with importation of a controlled substance — cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking are Mauricio Antonio Medina-Gatica, 36, of Brampton, and Iban Orozco-Lomeli, 45, of Toronto.

Read other London news here.

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