More than 30 suspects, including two dozen Indian-origin Punjabis, have been arrested since 8 April after a transnational illicit drug trafficking network was busted in Canada last year. The arrests in Greater Toronto Area, which were made public on Monday, came after a year-long investigation conducted by Canada’s York Regional Police in coordination with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Peel regional police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Canadian drug trafficking network extended to the US and India. The peddlers were bringing illicit drugs into Canada from California and India. Six of the Punjabis arrested, including a woman, are in their twenties and the eldest suspect is 60 years old.
The youngest suspect, 23-year-old Sukhmanpreet, has been charged with heroin possession. Vansh Arora, 24, is charged with trafficking of cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession of cocaine and opium for the purpose of trafficking and careless storage of ammunition.
Approximately $ 2.3 million worth of drugs, including 10 kg of cocaine, 8 kg of ketamine, 3 kg of heroin and 2.5 kg of opium were seized by the investigators. The cops also seized 48 firearms and $ 730,000 in Canadian currency — direct proceeds of the crime.
The Indian-origin Punjabis caught in the case are
- Rupinder Sharma (25), Vaughan
- Prabhsimran Kaur (25), Vaughan
- Parshotem Malhi (54), Brampton
- Rupinder Dhillon (37), Brampton
- Sanveer Singh (25), Brampton
- Haripal Nagra (45), Brampton
- Hassam Syed (30), Brampton
- Pritpal Singh (56), Brampton
- Harkiran Singh (33), Brampton
- Lakhpreet Brar (29), Brampton
- Didy Adansi (52), Toronto
- Sarbjit Singh (43), Woodstock
- Balwinder Dhaliwal (60), Brampton
- Rupinder Dhaliwal (39), Toronto
- Ranjit Singh (40), Toronto
- Sukhmanpreet Singh (23), Brampton
- Khushal Bhinder (36), Brampton
- Prabhjeet Mundian (34), Brampton
- Vansh Aurora (24), Brampton
- Simranjeet Narang (28), Brampton
- Harjinder Jhaj (28), Caledon
- Gaganpreet Gill (28), Brampton
- Sukhjit Dhaliwal (47), Brampton
- Imran Khan (33), Toronto
- Chinedu Ajoku (51), Brampton
- Harjot Singh (31), Brampton
- Sukhjit Dhugga (35), Brampton
Officials with the drug network said Punjab was a vital cog in the wheel with smugglers using the state for transportation of drugs to Delhi and Goa, besides Australia, UK, Vietnam and Italy. “We hope to get details about the accused belonging from Punjab soon,” said officials of the Punjab Police, Special Task Force against drugs and the Narcotics Control Bureau.