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Indian truck driver charged with drug trafficking at US-Canada border

Ottawa: An Indian truck driver from Canada has been charged with “intent to distribute controlled substances” after he was caught attempting to bring an estimated Canadian dollars 8.7 million worth of cocaine into the US, according to a media report.

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Gagandeep Singh was caught by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers after a border canine found the suspected cocaine at a Windsor-Detroit border crossing.

The discovery was made on February 5 at an outbound customs inspection at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, according to court documents obtained by CTV News.

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The seizure is “consistent with large-scale drug distribution activities”, according to the authorities.

The CBP officers “selected” a driver — a citizen of India and a resident of Canada — for inspection. According to the criminal complaint, the accused ignored the officers and attempted to continue to the tolls before being stopped just before the tolls by CBP officers.

A CBP K-9 was “alerted to the odour of controlled substances” after authorities found 13 cardboard boxes sealed with duct tape in the transport trailer, a special agent for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said, according to the news report.

A Special Agent wrote in the complaint that a “white powdery” substance, weighing 290 kilogrammes, tested positive for cocaine. The officer estimated the value of the seized suspected cocaine to be approximately Canadian dollars 8,700,000. The officer also told the court that scissors and duct tape, which matched that on the boxes, was found in the vehicle.

The seal listed on the Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was “concealed under the cover of the fuse box” in the dashboard of the cab.

The officers learned the truck driver’s manifest indicated he was transporting “agriculture equipment” but the seal on the trailer was for a Canadian health and beauty care company, according to CTV News.

The accused made his first court appearance in Detroit on February 7. So far, none of the allegations have been proven in court.

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