RCMP and CBSA Bust Smuggling Ring

RCMP and CBSA show Sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice
RCMP and CBSA show Sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice

RCMP and CBSA show Sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice
RCMP and CBSA show Sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice

TORONTO – CRIME NEWS – A joint investigation between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has resulted in arrest of three Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents for illegally importing approximately 72.8 kilograms of Ketamine and 23.5 kilograms of Norephedrine.

RCMP Image of white powder pulled from bag of rice
RCMP Image of white powder pulled from bag of rice

This investigation commenced when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Officers at the Port of Montreal, inspected a Toronto-bound sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice that originated from India. Upon further examination of the container, CBSA officers discovered a significant amount of Ketamine and Norephedrine concealed in a number of the rice sacks.  CBSA officers contacted the RCMP in Montreal, which subsequently advised the RCMP GTA Serious and Organized Crime section about the drug shipment.  The RCMP, along with partner agencies, conducted a local investigation in order to identify the individuals responsible for illegally importing the Ketamine and Norephedrine into Canada.

As a result of this investigation, on July 27, RCMP Toronto Airport Detachment investigators attended a commercial establishment in the area of Highway 27 and Woodbine Avenue in Toronto and arrested three male suspects.

“Organized crime plays a major role in smuggling illegal drugs into Canada. The RCMP is determined to fight organized crime in order to provide safe homes and safe communities for all Canadians,” said Inspector Dean DICKSON, Team Commander of the RCMP’s Toronto Airport Detachment GTA Serious & Organized Crime section. “The result of this investigation demonstrates how the RCMP and its partner agencies work effectively together to keep illegal drugs out of our communities.”
“Keeping illicit drugs out of our communities is a CBSA priority. Our officers use a multifaceted approach based on risk assessment, intelligence and advanced technologies to target illegal shipments. They also work closely with their national and international partners to prevent the trade of illegal drugs through international borders,” said Pierre Provost, Acting Regional Director General for the CBSA, Quebec Region.

A sack of rice also containing a white powder (illicit drug) - RCMP Image
A sack of rice also containing a white powder (illicit drug) – RCMP Image

The RCMP charged the following individuals with offences relating to this investigation:

Itolo MALLOZZI (57) of Dufferin County, Ontario
Kevin GOWANLOCK (49) of Orillia, Ontario
Amritbal GILL (35) of Brampton, Ontario
Charges are:

  • Importing a controlled substance into Canada contrary to section 6(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA)
  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence contrary to section 465 (1)(c) of the Criminal Code
  • MALLOZZI is currently in custody. GOWANLOCK and GILL have been released on bail and are next scheduled to appear at Old City Hall Courthouse in Toronto on September 2, 2014

Ketamine emerged on the North American illicit market in the aftermath of the rave explosion. It is often mixed with other illicit drugs such as MDMA or methamphetamine.  In the last several years, increased seizures and trafficking of Ketamine in Canada have indicated a renewed organized crime interest in the drug.

Norephedrine (also known as PPA) is often used as a precursor chemical to produce amphetamines, 4-methylaminorex and other illicit drugs.

The RCMP would like to acknowledge the assistance of the CBSA, Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police during this investigation.

Help make your community a safer place to live! If you have information on this type of cross-border crime, please contact the Ontario RCMP at 1-800-387-0020, the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS).