An alert courier service employee thwarted an alleged trafficker’s attempt to ship a significant quantity of banned substances from Toronto to Edmonton.
On May 20, a member of the national courier company in the city’s west end identified a suspicious package and called 22 Division.
“Based on the way he was sending it, the employee identified it to be consistent with the behaviour of people trafficking drugs,” said Detective Jeffrey Ross, of the Drug Squad, at a news conference at police headquarters on May 22.
Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear & Explosive officers scanned the package to ensure it was safe to handle and discovered it contained a kilogram of ketamine.
While officers were conducting their investigation, the sender returned with another package for shipment. He was arrested and search warrants revealed that the second package he was attempting to ship included five kilograms of cocaine. A further search warrant executed on the accused’s Mercedes Benz SUV resulted in the seizure of nearly $160,000 that was located in a cardboard box.
The estimated street value of the drugs seized is $550,000.
Anh Tung Ly, 28, of Woodbridge, is facing several drug-related and proceeds-of-crime charges.
In an alleged attempt to conceal the drugs, the sender mixed them with paprika, a spice made from air -dried fruits from the chili pepper family.
“A pattern of behaviour triggered the identification of this original package by the courier company employee,” said Inspector Howie Page. “Drug Squad officers were able to establish that the behaviour was consistent with those who seek to traffic controlled substances through the mail and entered into an investigation.”
Page said the investigation is ongoing.
“We are investigating the possibility that this individual may be responsible for shipments previous to those that were intercepted and are working with other law enforcement agencies throughout Canada,” he said. “My investigators are continuing the investigation and will take the necessary steps to seek out other parcels and apprehend any would-be recipients.”
Page warned users of the dangerous effects of ketamine, which is a dissociative drug used as a fast-acting anesthetic.
“It was originally designed as an anesthetic and tranquilizer, often used on horses during veterinary surgery,” he said. “Short- and long-term effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, numbness, depression, amnesia, hallucinations and potentially fatal respiratory problems. Due to the detached dreamlike state it creates, the user often finds it difficult to move.
Ketamine has been used in drug-facilitated sexual assaults on unsuspecting victims. It’s often referred to as one of the date-rape drugs
“Ketamine has been used in drug-facilitated sexual assaults on unsuspecting victims. It’s often referred to as one of the date-rape drugs and it may be diverted from legitimate sources or may be produced in clandestine labs,” he said.
The packages of cocaine held the imprint of a Star of David. Page noted that it is quite common for traffickers to make an imprint or marking on drugs as a way of branding them for sale.
Page said Toronto Police will meet with Canada Post and courier companies in the next week to discuss ways of forming stronger bonds to help intercept packages containing illegal substances.
Anyone with information about any other individuals responsible for this seizure or the trafficking of any illegal substances through the mail or courier companies is asked to contact police at (416) 808-6110, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.