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30 Suspects Arrested in Drug Bust

June 24, 1999

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ More than 30 suspects were arrested this week in a massive drug smuggling ring linking Asia and North America, officials said, adding that more arrests in the case were likely.

Police seized nearly 120 pounds of heroin as well as smaller amounts of cocaine. Much of that was seized from a marine container in a Chinese vessel entering Vancouver harbor.

A coalition of Canadian police agencies announced the arrests Wednesday.

Almost all the suspects were arrested as part of a probe into an international heroin and cocaine ring. Most of the suspects were from the Vancouver region. The others were from Hong Kong, Thailand and Las Vegas.

Four of the suspects are also thought to be tied to a Vancouver-area gang linked to Triad gangs in the mainland China settlement of Macao. They face charges ranging from extortion to credit card fraud and assault.

The investigation began in Victoria in 1997 when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began looking into the trafficking of heroin and cocaine.

``We started to realize this organization was a lot larger than we anticipated,″ RCMP Staff Sgt. Pat Convey said Wednesday.

The case eventually involved the FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Royal Thai Police and Australia’s Federal Police.

Update hourly