The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)

9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

The BC Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit Task Force has arrested a man who was charged nearly a decade ago with importing large shipments of cocaine into the country.

In a news release issued Thursday, the CFSEU said it arrested Khamla Wong at Vancouver International Airport on Feb. 24 with assistance from the B.C’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Unit and Richmond RCMP.

Wong was charged in 2012 for conspiracy to traffic cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine and possession of a loaded prohibited firearm.

Police said the investigation into Wong’s alleged illegal activities began in 2008. In August 2012, charges were laid against six men, including Wong, in relation to a drug investigation that spanned from B.C. to California, Mexico and Peru.

Police in B.C. had been tipped off by U.S. drug agents in 2008 that several Canadian and U.S. suspects were using encrypted smartphones to organize drug deals on an international level.

RELATED: Lower Mainland men charged in cocaine, ecstasy conspiracy

“Wong will now face justice after being charged in connection to a 2008 CFSEU-BC investigation into the importation of multi-kilo shipments of cocaine into Canada and exportation of ecstasy into the United States,” the release reads.

As part of the investigation, police seized 23 kilograms of ecstasy in Princeton on Aug. 21, 2008, followed by another 121 kilograms of cocaine at the Pacific Border Crossing on Dec. 20 of that same year, and another 97 kilograms of coke hidden inside a commercial transport truck carrying bananas at the Pacific Border Crossing a few days later. In May 2009, a further 10 kilograms of cocaine was seized in Burnaby.

The investigation concluded with seven warrants executed in June 2009 at residences in Chilliwack, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, and Lake Country in the Okanagan. Those searches resulted in seizure offour firearms and drugs.

Several individuals were arrested, charged, and convicted.

In total, police said the investigation resulted in the seizure of “tens of millions” of dollars worth of illegal drugs.

“We will not stop our relentless pursuit of those individuals who cause significant harm and pose the greatest risk to our safety due to their involvement in gang and organized crime activity, even a decade or more ago,” said CFSEU acting chief officer Supt. Duncan Pound.

“Time and time again we have sought out individuals living abroad to hold them accountable and face justice in Canada. Those who remain on the run from CFSEU-BC should know that we will not stop until we find you.”

Prior to his arrest, Wong’s name was on an Interpol “red notice,” which is an international warrant.

In the release, CFSEU thanked the Canada Border Services Agency, the Integrated Homicide Investigation team, and “many other agencies who have assisted on this complex investigation over the years.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

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