Some CDN$40M of cocaine was found by Canadian authorities in cartons of Guyana pepper sauce and a businessman was to appear in an Ontario court yesterday charged with importing and conspiracy to traffic in the illegal substance
The cocaine was seized by Canadian police following months of investigation which saw them tracking the shipment from New Brunswick and letting the accused, identified as 45-year-old Mahendrapaul Doodnauth of Sequin Court in Etobicoke, take possession of it with only a small amount of the cocaine still in the packaging.
According to Canadian media reports the bust is said to be the biggest in the history of the province of Ontario. Doodnauth is said to be the owner of Caribbean International Food Distributors in the town of Etobicoke.
Doodnauth was nabbed as he offloaded the boxes at a storage facility.
While none of the reports gave a date as to when the shipment would have left Guyana or any other information on the Guyana link, reports said the pepper shipment arrived in the country on board the Tropic Canada in Saint John, New Brunswick on December 8. The freight ship reportedly regularly transports goods between Saint John and the Caribbean.
Media reports said that the drug was inserted into the cardboard dividers inside 551 boxes out of the 1,250 that were carrying the pepper sauce. The cocaine was uncovered by border guards during their inspection of the freighter. Investigators used an X-ray machine and a sniffer dog to find the drugs.
In total, they found 276 kilogrammes of cocaine which, when cut and resold by street-level drug dealers, could amount to as much as 400 kilogrammes of the drug.
The guards removed most of the cocaine, but allowed two kilogrammes to be delivered to Caribbean International Food Distributors and when the boxes were loaded into a storage facility on December 19, Doodnauth was arrested.
Doodnauth has been charged with importing cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and was expected to appear in court via video link yesterday afternoon.
The bust was the conclusion of an investigation, dubbed