A Punjabi-origin Indo-Canadian trucker driver was arrested on Monday by US authorities for trying to smuggle marijuana from Canada.
Forty-year-old driver Gurmit Singh of North York on the outskirts of Toronto was arrested on the Canada-US border in New York State Monday after he was found carrying 353 pounds of marijuana in his truck cargo. Singh had concealed the drug by co-mingling it with fire wood he was ferrying from Toronto to Worcester in Massachusetts in the US.
On suspicion, US Customs and Border Protection officials at the Peace Bridge entry port in Buffalo searched the truck.
The X-ray of the vehicle deepened their suspicion, forcing the officers to physically search the whole load of fire wood cargo.
The search led to discovery of bundles of marijuana hidden in fire wood, according to US Customs.
Singh was arrested and the truck confiscated. He was charged with smuggling the contraband into the US.
"Marijuana is freely available in Canada, particularly British Columbia province. Its smuggling into the US has become an easy route to quick riches for many Indian Canadians. So I am not surprised when these guys get caught.
People are greedy and they want to become rich quickly," a trucking company owner of the Greater Toronto Area told IANS.
Over the years, drug gangs of young boys growing up without proper parental supervision have sprung up. Their modus operandi is to smuggle marijuana into the US and, in return, bring cocaine into Canada.
In order to money quickly, many Indian Canadian truck drivers too have joined hands with these gangs to ferry drugs across the border. So much so that even some Punjabi-origin Canadian border officials too have been arrested for their collusion in drug smuggling.