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'Extraordinary seizure of cocaine': N.S. RCMP credit international investigation for disrupting drug ring

Nova Scotia RCMP says an international investigation has disrupted a transnational drug ring and led to the seizure of a large amount of cocaine, about $170,000 in cash and $120,000-worth of silver bars.

In a news conference Tuesday, RCMP announced a 16-month investigation culminated in the arrest of 37-year-old Ahmed El Kady last month, who police say was carrying 433 kilograms of cocaine destined for Canada.

El Kady — who is from Hamilton, Ont., but has ties to Nova Scotia’s drug trade — was arrested in Buffalo, New York, by officers with Homeland Security Investigations, police said.

“Working with the RCMP’s Federal Policing in Ontario, and partners across the country and in the USA, we disrupted a criminal network operating across the Canada-USA border and into our province,” Supt. Jason Popik, federal policing criminal operations officer with the Nova Scotia RCMP, said in a statement.

As a result of the investigation and seizure, Popik said fewer dangerous drugs will reach Atlantic Canada.

In spring 2022, officers with the Nova Scotia RCMP’s federal policing unit identified a criminal group involving El Kady that was importing drugs into Canada from the United States, police said.

“When we look at the CBSA logs we know that the individual in Ontario was traveling back-and –forth in excess of 94 times over the last two years,” said Popik. 

The network, which police say was considered to be “one of the more sophisticated drug trafficking networks within Atlantic Canada,” was facilitating the movement of imported cocaine throughout Ontario and Atlantic provinces.

In May, the force says Nova Scotia RCMP officers conducted a traffic stop near the Cobequid Pass and intercepted 40 kilograms of cocaine which was believed to be on its way to dealers in Halifax.

Multiple search warrants executed on Sept. 1 resulted in the arrest of four people who will face multiple drug related charges. The charges include:

  • Participation in Activities of Criminal Organization
  • Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine) for the Purpose of Trafficking
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamines) for the Purpose of Trafficking
  • Possess, produce, sell, import or transport anything intending that it will be used to produce a controlled substance or traffic in a controlled substance
  • Possession of Cannabis for the Purpose of Selling
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
  • Laundering Proceeds of Crime

With the exception of El Kady, who remains in U.S. custody, all arrested parties have since been released and will appear in court at a later date.

“This investigation and extraordinary seizure of cocaine disrupted a significant transnational criminal organization and drug pipeline into Nova Scotia,” Matthew Scarpino, Homeland Security Investigations Buffalo special agent, said in a statement.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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