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 about 72.8 kilograms of Ketamine and 23.5 kilograms of Norephedrine.
Those arrested are Amritbal Gill, 35, of Brampton, Ontario; Itolo Mallozzi, 57, of Dufferin County, Ontario; and Kevin Gowanlock, 49, of Orillia, Ontario.
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 investigation commenced when 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 their 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 and 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.
The RCMP charged Gill, Mallozzi and Gowanlock with importing a controlled substance into Canada, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Mallozzi is currently in custody. Gowanlock and Gill have been released on bail and are scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on September 2.
(PHOTOS: A sack of rice also containing a white powder (illicit drug). / Sea container containing over 500 sacks of rice.)