Authorities say airports are safe, despite the fact employees with access to restricted areas have now been caught twice in two years smuggling cocaine through Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
"People should not worry," said RCMP Inspector André Lemyre, who is in charge of border security. "The RCMP and their partners work together to dismantle organized crime, and by doing this, it's more secure."
Again, employees from Cara Airline Solutions were arrested as part of ring smuggling cocaine through the airport in Dorval. Three Cara employees were among eight people arrested yesterday in early morning raids.
In November 2006, 10 employees working for food services companies, among them, Cara, were arrested for smuggling cocaine. Cara employees, and any employee granted access to a restricted area, must have security clearance, which requires a criminal background check, said Maryse Durette, a spokesperson for Transport Canada. She said Transport Canada is constantly reviewing airport security measures and won't necessarily revise them in light of yesterday's arrests.
Six people face charges of importing drugs and conspiracy to import drugs. They are: Montreal residents Jorge Hernan Vargas, 33; Antonio Giancola, 41; Mohammed Sheikh, 34; Antonio Sciortino, 41; Emmanuel Costa, 41; and Le Gardeur resident Dickens Jolicoeur.
Police said the 16 kilograms of cocaine they seized were transported on three separate flights in 2007 and 2008 originating from the Dominican Republic. They can't say how the drugs got on the planes, but they believe the Cara employees helped unload the drugs here. The drugs that were seized were found in a suitcase, in an overhead baggage compartment and in a garbage bag unloaded from an airplane.