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Interior grocery stores receive banana shipment — with bricks of cocaine

The shipments came from Colombia
Shipments of bananas in Kelowna in 2019 contained drugs.

A massive shipment of nearly pure cocaine was lost in Kelowna back in 2019, police have now revealed.

In a news release Tuesday, the RCMP says a Kelowna grocery store reported on Feb. 24, 2019 that they found 12 large bricks of drugs in a recent shipment of bananas.

Later that day, a West Kelowna grocery store reported the same thing, finding nine one-kilogram bricks in their banana shipment.

The contents of the 21 packages have since been analyzed and their contents have been confirmed as cocaine. A multi-year investigation into the shipments has now concluded.

“The drug section of the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit worked collaboratively with the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) to determine that these shipments originated in Colombia,” says Cpl. Jeff Carroll of the Kelowna RCMP drug section.

“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.”

The RCMP says the two surprise shipments, alone, of nearly pure cocaine once cut with other agents, would have introduced upwards of 800,000 doses of crack cocaine into the Canadian illicit drug market.

That is enough for nearly six “doses” for every resident in the City of Kelowna.

“The RCMP remains concerned and committed to interdicting any substance or product that may put the safety and security of Canadians at risk,” the Kelowna RCMP said in a news release.

Should 21 kilograms of pure cocaine sell on the street by the gram, at $80 per gram, it would fetch $1.68 million. A more likely situation would see the cocaine cut in half, or even more, for street sales. Cut in half the seized product, sold by the gram, would have fetched about $3.36 million.