$25-million drug bust is biggest ever by Peel cops in Mississauga, Brampton


Published October 26, 2022 at 11:28 am

Peel Regional Police Det. Sgt. Earl Scott talks to the media on Wednesday morning about the biggest-ever drug bust by Peel Regional Police.

A Mississauga man and Brampton man are among five people facing a rash of charges after a record-setting $25 million in cocaine and other drugs was seized by Peel cops in the bust-up this week of a major organized drug trafficking ring operating in Peel, across the GTA and the U.S.

Two Caledon men, including one currently in police custody in the U.S., and a Richmond Hill resident are also facing numerous charges in the wake of the biggest-ever Peel Regional Police drug investigation, dubbed Project Zucaritas (Spanish for sugar or sugar cereal).

The investigation, spearheaded by the Peel police Specialized Enforcement Bureau (SEB), began last November and concluded with recent raids at a north Mississauga furniture company and a commercial trucking firm in Milton.

From those businesses, identified as Friends Furniture on Argentia Rd. and North King Logistics on Steeles Ave., police seized 383 kilograms of cocaine (166 kg, worth $13.2 million), methamphetamines (182 kg, worth $10.9 million) and ketamine worth an estimated $25.2 million on the street.

Not only does that represent the single-largest drug bust in Peel police history, but it also brings the total amount of drugs seized by Peel cops this year to just over $40 million, a single-year record.

Police say they also seized $70,000 in Canadian cash.

(Photo: Peel Regional Police)

Peel cops say they partnered with U.S. Homeland Security authorities in Detroit and Chicago in addition to border services cops in Buffalo in conducting the massive international drug trafficking probe.

Det. Sgt. Earl Scott, lead investigator with Peel’s SEB, told a press conference this morning (Oct. 26) that over a period of time large amounts of the drugs were brought from the United States into Canada and to the GTA via transport trucks and their loads.

“These drugs were coming into Peel and the GTA, but I can’t say where (exactly) they were going to be distributed from there,” said Scott, noting the huge bust should serve notice to organized crime rings that Peel cops “will not tolerate criminals who profit by preying on people in our community.”

“This group was known to be operating commercial businesses to transport illegal drugs into the GTA.”

Peel police Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich told media that while enforcement efforts such as Project Zucaritas are an important part of dismantling organized criminal activity in Peel and beyond, there’s much more to the fight.

“By itself, enforcement is ineffective,” he said, noting cops and the community at large must also make inroads on the front end–in the area of prevention. “Enforcement needs to be coupled with prevention.”

Milinovich said it’s crucial that people with drug addictions get the help they need, including from both police and support services across the region.

“The reality is organized crime has no boundaries. As invested as we are in using different techniques…to catch them, they are equally as invested in protecting their enterprises and continuing to benefit and profit from it,” he said.

“We need the community (to help). We cannot be everywhere,” Milinovich continued, calling on residents to become even more engaged in helping police by using tools such as Crime Stoppers to report criminal activity anonymously.

“That’s where we can make a real difference.”

Khalilullah Amin, 46, and Gurdeep Gakhal, 38, both of Caledon, Jaspreet Singh, 28, of Brampton, Wray Ip, 27, of Richmond Hill, and Ravinder Boparai, 27, of Mississauga, are all facing drug charges.

Gakhal is currently in custody in the U.S.

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