The RCMP has concluded an almost two-year-long international drug investigation after finding nearly two dozen bricks of cocaine in bananas shipped to Central Okanagan grocers in February 2019.
On Feb. 24, 2019, a grocery store in Kelowna reported it had found 12 bricks of what was believed to be illicit drugs in a shipment of bananas. That same day, a West Kelowna grocer reported nine more similar packages in its banana shipment. The packages, weighing around one kilogram each, were seized by the RCMP for continued investigation.
The packages were later confirmed to contain cocaine. Working with the Canada Border Service Agency, investigators determined the shipments originated in Colombia.
However, Cpl. Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP’s drug section doesn’t believe the shipments were meant to end up in the Okanagan, arriving only as a result of a “missed pick up at some point along the way.”
The RCMP said experts estimate the two surprise shipments would have introduced 800,000 doses of crack cocaine into the Canadian illicit drug market.
“That’s enough contraband for every resident in the City of Kelowna to receive nearly six doses each,” reads the RCMP’s release.
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