Punjab-origin truck driver caught with $8.7 million cocaine at US-Canada border – The Tribune India

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IANS

Toronto, February 10

An Indian truck driver from Canada has been charged for attempting to bring about $8.7 million worth of cocaine into the US, according to court documents.

Gagandeep Singh, a citizen of India and resident of Canada, was charged with “intent to distribute controlled substances” as he made his first court appearance in Detroit on Wednesday.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit asked Singh to pull over for an inspection at about 11.45 pm on Monday, the CTV News reported, citing documents.

“(The accused) ignored the officers and attempted to continue to the tolls before being stopped just before the tolls by CBP officers,” the criminal complaint read.

Officers were “alerted to the odour of controlled substances” by a K-9, a border police canine, following which they found 13 cardboard boxes sealed with duct tape in the transport trailer.

A “white powdery” substance worth 290 kilograms field-tested positive for cocaine.

“Due to my training and experience I estimate the value of the seized suspected cocaine to be approximately $8,700,000,” Jeffrey Richardson, Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations, wrote in the complaint.

Richardson alleged that the seizure is “consistent with large-scale drug distribution activities”.

He told the court that scissors and duct tape, matching the tape used to seal the boxes, were found in the cab of the transport.

According to officers, Singh’s manifest indicated he was transporting “agricultural equipment” but the seal on the trailer was for a Canadian health and beauty care company.

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