The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)

9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

The BC Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit Task Force has arrested a man who was charged nearly a decade ago with importing large shipments of cocaine into the country.

In a news release issued Thursday, the CFSEU said it arrested Khamla Wong at Vancouver International Airport on Feb. 24 with assistance from the B.C’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Unit and Richmond RCMP.

Wong was charged in 2012 for conspiracy to traffic cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine and possession of a loaded prohibited firearm.

Police said the investigation into Wong’s alleged illegal activities began in 2008. In August 2012, charges were laid against six men, including Wong, in relation to a drug investigation that spanned from B.C. to California, Mexico and Peru.

Police in B.C. had been tipped off by U.S. drug agents in 2008 that several Canadian and U.S. suspects were using encrypted smartphones to organize drug deals on an international level.

RELATED: Lower Mainland men charged in cocaine, ecstasy conspiracy

“Wong will now face justice after being charged in connection to a 2008 CFSEU-BC investigation into the importation of multi-kilo shipments of cocaine into Canada and exportation of ecstasy into the United States,” the release reads.

As part of the investigation, police seized 23 kilograms of ecstasy in Princeton on Aug. 21, 2008, followed by another 121 kilograms of cocaine at the Pacific Border Crossing on Dec. 20 of that same year, and another 97 kilograms of coke hidden inside a commercial transport truck carrying bananas at the Pacific Border Crossing a few days later. In May 2009, a further 10 kilograms of cocaine was seized in Burnaby.

The investigation concluded with seven warrants executed in June 2009 at residences in Chilliwack, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, and Lake Country in the Okanagan. Those searches resulted in seizure offour firearms and drugs.

Several individuals were arrested, charged, and convicted.

In total, police said the investigation resulted in the seizure of “tens of millions” of dollars worth of illegal drugs.

“We will not stop our relentless pursuit of those individuals who cause significant harm and pose the greatest risk to our safety due to their involvement in gang and organized crime activity, even a decade or more ago,” said CFSEU acting chief officer Supt. Duncan Pound.

“Time and time again we have sought out individuals living abroad to hold them accountable and face justice in Canada. Those who remain on the run from CFSEU-BC should know that we will not stop until we find you.”

Prior to his arrest, Wong’s name was on an Interpol “red notice,” which is an international warrant.

In the release, CFSEU thanked the Canada Border Services Agency, the Integrated Homicide Investigation team, and “many other agencies who have assisted on this complex investigation over the years.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

cocaine smugglingcrimeDrugs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 1300-block of 176 Street at around 7:15 p.m. on June 3, 2017. (File photo)
Trial dates set for senior charged in 2017 ‘targeted’ South Surrey shooting

Jury trial for Kenneth Turpin scheduled to begin Oct. 25

Earl Marriott Secondary alumna Tanis Orsetti has received a $15,000 Cmolik Graduate Studies Scholarship to further her studies in the field of medicine. (File/Contributed photo)
Earl Marriott alumna selected for new $15K scholarship

Tanis Orsetti is studying the use immunotherapy in cancer treatment

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read