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Narcos PQ: Cocaine enters first class on Air Canada

South American drug cartels use Air Canada flights from Colombia to Montreal and Toronto to smuggle hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the country each year.

This is what our Bureau of Investigation learned from a Sinaloa cartel drug trafficker who swore that he “regularly” ships cargoes of coke on Air Canada planes flying between the Colombian capital, Bogota, with Montreal and Toronto.

This is one of the amazing revelations contained in the book Narcos PQ – The cocaine route, from Colombia to our streetsa collective written by the journalists of our Investigation Office and published this week.

“Before [2020], there were no direct Air Canada flights between Bogota and Montreal. But as soon as it started, we started the machine. Because it’s very easy”, assured us this prolific drug trafficker based in Colombia, but who has already lived in the Montreal region.

Courtesy Photo

The drug trafficker exhibited this kilo of cocaine in front of our journalists during one of their meetings.


This criminal, who says he is not the only coke exporter to use this scheme, also claims that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would be aware of it. But he regrets that she does not move more often.

It’s because this trafficker who likes to gamble dangerously also acts as a police informant and he secretly collaborates with the RCMP.

“For a few shipments of product [cocaïne] we did, I even sent them videos. I had explained who were the guys who worked at the Toronto airport and who had to pick up the product”, explained the one who is called by the fictitious nickname of Angel in order to protect his identity.

Courtesy Photo

The Sinaloa Cartel tattoo that the drug trafficker who confided in our Bureau of Investigation sports on his shoulder.


Angel specified that each shipment of coke by plane weighs “between 50 and 75 kg maximum”, which represents a value of 2.5 to 3.75 million $ on the Quebec drug market.

Coke is mostly transported by airfreight on cargo flights, passing it off as legal cargo, but it can also be concealed among the baggage of a passenger plane.

The narcos must be able to count on the complicity of corrupt employees in the airports, who do not necessarily work for the airlines. They have the task of loading and unloading the devices.

This is called a “door” in the smugglers’ jargon.

The accomplices then exchange text messages, photos or videos of the precious package and the exact place where it should be recovered, “with the pallet number” of the load, according to Angel.

“The first thing the ‘gate’ does when the plane arrives is get the product out before the world arrives,” he explained. A lot of people are involved in that for us. They work in the cleaning in the airports or put the food on the plane.

The cartels are doing the same to export their coke to the United States and Europe, from several Latin American countries, added our source who is also the subject of the program. I broadcast this evening on TVA and in recovery on LCN at the end of the week.

The airline is not aware

“We are not aware of any ongoing investigations involving the operations of our airline in Colombia,” Air Canada reacted in response to our information.

“As a leading international carrier, Air Canada takes its responsibilities under Canadian and foreign laws very seriously. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities in Canada and abroad,” added its media relations department in an email to our Office of Investigation.

The company also recalled that “passenger, cargo and baggage security checks, as well as other related checks at airports and borders, are the responsibility of various levels of government”.

Photo archives, the Journal

In 2006, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized large quantities of cocaine at Montreal-Trudeau airport during Operation Colisée.


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have nonetheless conducted a number of drug investigations in the country, having successfully apprehended corrupt airline employees in the past.

Where was cocaine seized from 2017 to 2022
Where was cocaine seized from 2017 to 2022

Source: Canada Border Services Agency

In Toronto, federal police arrested six Air Canada employees in 2000 and two Sunwing employees in 2019 for their involvement in drug imports.

In Montreal, the RCMP’s Colisée anti-mafia operation in 2006 also resulted in the conviction of several baggage handlers and employees of a private company that was mandated to provide food and hygiene services on Air Canada planes.

The article is in French

Tags: Narcos Cocaine enters class Air Canada

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