Sunday, January 30, 2011

Iranian drug cartel busted in Toronto

A colossal drug trafficking ring operating in the Greater Toronto area was cracked with the arrest of seven men and two women charged together on 66 counts of importing and trafficking in opium and other illegal drugs originating from Iran. Another three members of the ring are on the wanted list. The arrests were made at the end of a year-long investigation, code-named Project Khiar, by the Toronto Police Drugs squad coordinated with the York and Peel regional police and the Canada Border Service. Some 190 kilograms of opium valued at $13 million was seized along with 44 kilograms of Ephedrine, (an ingredient of Crystal Methamphetamine) and 44 kilograms of Ephedrine (from which about 40 kilograms of Crystal Methamphetamine can be extracted) together valued at $8.8 million. Fardin Ayati-Ghaffari, 47, Mansour Chegini, 50, Saeid Chegini, 27, Naeim Dehghansai Ghahramankou, 27, Shahin Azhadi, 38, all of Richmond Hill, and Mehrdad Barehi, 40 and Somayyrh Fatholli-Ghocheh, 26, both of Toronto have all been charged on a range of between two and 22 offenses including possession and global conspiracy to import and traffic in opium, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ephedrine and methadone, as well as and obstruction of justice. An eighth person Crystal Lee Eden, 31, of Toronto was charged with possession of cannabis. Police are still hunting for Lakhbir Shokar, 46, Mohamed Medhi, 41, and Jamshid Royan, 41, all of no fixed address, wanted for conspiring to import and traffic in ephedrine and opium. The Toronto police drug squad suspects that other people may have been used as unwitting couriers receiving packages or shipments of concealed opium originating from Iran.

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