Monday, June 17, 2024

2 Indo-Canadians among six charged in Alberta-British Columbia drug bust

Two Indo-Canadians are among six people facing charges in connection with a drug bust that saw more than $800,000 seized in drugs, cash and jewellery last year.

Kulwant Singh Bal (44), Gary Dhami (32), both from Kelowna, and other suspects are facing a total of 30 charges, including drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) said on Tuesday.

They were arrested between June 13 and June 22 this year, and a warrant has been issued for Petar Hristov from Edmonton, who is believed to have fled the country.

The investigation, dubbed ‘Project Deception’, initially began in May 2021 after an initial drug seizure in Lloydminster, ALERT said.

“Project Deception has been a lengthy and complex investigation, which is reflected in the severity and scope of the charges being laid,” Sergeant Bruce Maclean of ALERT said.

“These suspects allegedly supplied our communities with harmful drugs and now they will be held accountable before the courts,” Maclean added.

On June 1, 2022, houses in Lloydminster, Edmonton, Springbrook, Alberta, Kelowna and Vernon, British Columbia were searched as part of the investigation.

Police recovered drugs with an estimated street value of $571,000 in addition to $101,888 in cash, and $147,872 in “restrained” assets that included jewellery.

Two handguns with ammunition; 3,600 gm cocaine; 3,055 gm suspected buffing agents; 1,223 gm methamphetamine; and 275 gm suspected fentanyl were also recovered by the police.

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