Nine Montreal-area residents have been charged in connection with a massive international drug sting that nabbed more than more than 43 tonnes of hashish worth an estimated $860 million.
"Such a large quantity of hashish could have supplied every resident of a city of 10,000 with a daily dose for more than 11 years," the RCMP said in a release.
The seizure volume represents all hashish intercepted by police over the course of the investigation, which stretched from Pakistan and Belgium to the United States.
It was sparked two years ago, when Canadian Border Services agents found hashish in offshore containers in Halifax and Montreal.
How much was that?
Here are some ways to think about the 43.3 tonnes RCMP say they seized. That amount is:
- 1 Leopard tank.
- 1 Toronto streetcar, loaded.
- 19 NHL teams (25 players, averaging 200 pounds).
- 32 Toyota Prius hybrids.
- 1.25 grams per Canadian.
- 29 beluga whales.
RCMP investigators say the hashish would be packed overseas, primarily in Pakistan.
When it arrived in Montreal, police say, a fax would be sent to a Montreal hotel.
One of the suspects would pick up the fax and set in motion a plan to pick up the drug shipment.
Police say there were "irregularities" in the way the containers were handled in Montreal, leading them to believe employees at the port were involved.
Police also say, as part of the operation, Pakistani authorities arrested the two leaders of an international network that exported hashish to Canada in 2010.
Eight of the Montreal-area men were charged on Wednesday with conspiracy, importing and possession of cannabis resin for the purpose of trafficking.
A ninth man was arrested on Thursday.