Royal Canadian Mounted Police have released details of a case in which two Canadian grocery stores received a total of 21 bricks of cocaine instead of the boxes of bananas they ordered from well south of the border, The Independent reported on Thursday.
The packages that arrived in 2019, which turned out to be cocaine, weighed around a kilo each and were confiscated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for further investigation into their origins and target destination.
"The narcotics section of the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit worked in tandem with the Canada Border Service Agency to determine that these shipments originated in Colombia," Cpl Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP drug section said.
Carroll said their investigation led them to believe the seized product were not intended to be delivered to Central Okanagan, and ended up in the Okanagan Valley following a bungled drug-trafficking operation.
Authorities said the amount of almost pure cocaine found in the shipments could have amounted to as many as 800,000 doses of so-called "crack" cocaine once cut with other substances.
"That is enough contraband for every resident in the City of Kelowna to get almost six doses each," the RCMP said.
Should 21 kilos of pure cocaine sell on the street by the gram -- at $80 per gram -- the drug would fetch $1.68 million. Cut in half, the contraband sold by the gram would have been worth around $3.35 million, authorities said.
Cocaine is manufactured at $1,500 per kilo in jungle laboratories and could be sold on U.S. streets for as much as $50,000 a kilo, according to experts.
Studies show that as of 2011, Colombia is the biggest cocaine maker in the world, while the U.S. is the world's biggest consumer of cocaine and other illicit drugs, Bloomberg News reported.