Massive Drug Trafficking Network Dismantled After Extensive International Investigation

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An extensive international investigation reaching across borders has successfully dismantled a massive transnational drug trafficking operation, one that had deeply entrenched roots in Nova Scotia, according to the provincial Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The meticulous operation, which spanned over 16 months, yielded a significant seizure of 433 kilograms of cocaine, $170,000 in cash, and silver bars valued at $120,000.

Ahmed El Kady, a 37-year-old with a home address in Hamilton, Ontario but strong links to Nova Scotia’s drug economy, was apprehended last month. El Kady was detained in Buffalo, New York while reportedly transporting cocaine intended for Canadian markets. The arrest was spearheaded by officers from Homeland Security Investigations, a U.S. government organization.

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The RCMP’s Federal Policing in Ontario worked closely with counterparts across Canada and in the U.S. to unearth this criminal organization, which operated extensively between the Canada-U.S. border and deep into Nova Scotia. Commenting on the operation, Superintendent Jason Popik, the federal policing criminal operations officer at the Nova Scotia RCMP noted, “The dismantling of this complex network means fewer drugs will flood into Atlantic Canada.”

The scope of the operation unfolded in spring 2022 as RCMP’s federal policing unit identified a criminal group, which involved El Kady, allegedly smuggling drugs from the U.S. into Canada. CBSA records show that an individual from Ontario crossed the border over 94 times within the last two years – a move that raised red flags, according to Popik.

The targeted criminal network, termed as “one of the more sophisticated drug trafficking networks within Atlantic Canada,” allegedly facilitated the movement of smuggled cocaine across Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. In one instance in May, the RCMP reported the interception of 40 kilograms of cocaine near the Cobequid Pass. The shipment was believed to be destined for dealers in Halifax.

The investigation reached a peak on September 1 when multiple search warrants were executed, resulting in the arrest of four individuals. The charges filed against them range from participating in a criminal organization and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence to an array of drug-related offences.

Apart from El Kady, who remains in U.S. custody, all the arrested individuals have been released and are expected to face court proceedings at a future date.

Matthew Scarpino, a special agent at Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo, stressed the noteworthiness of the operation, stating, “The investigation and extraordinary seizure disrupted a significant transnational criminal organization and drug pipeline into Nova Scotia.”

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