British Columbia

21 bricks of cocaine found in Okanagan grocery stores arrived with banana shipment, RCMP say

Kelowna Regional RCMP say a shipment of cocaine that arrived in the central Okanagan in 2019 was shipped in banana containers.

Drugs originated in Colombia and ended up in stores by accident, police believe

Police seized 21 packages total, which weighed around one kilogram each. (Kelowna RCMP)

Kelowna Regional RCMP say a massive amount of cocaine that landed in Okanagan grocery stores in 2019 was shipped in banana containers, and likely ended up in the stores by accident.

According to a written statement from police, several bricks of cocaine were found on Feb. 24, 2019, after a local grocery store reported finding what it believed to be illicit drugs.

Later that day, West Kelowna RCMP also received a call from a grocer after they uncovered what they suspected to be drugs in their banana shipment.

In total, police seized 21 packages of cocaine, weighing around one kilogram each. 

The statement from RCMP says the drugs were likely not destined for Kelowna.

The drug section of the Kelowna RCMP worked with the Canada Border Service Agency to determine that the shipments had originated in Colombia. 

"Our investigation leads us to believe these illicit drugs were not meant to end up in the Central Okanagan, and arrived here in the Okanagan Valley as a result of a missed pickup at some point along the way," Cpl. Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP Drug Section said in the statement.

The statement said that, according to experts, the shipments of pure cocaine, once cut with other agents, would have introduced upwards of 800,000 doses of crack cocaine into the Canadian illicit drug market.