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Cocaine smuggler gets 18 years, border guard 15

16/07/2012
English: "Cocaine toothache drops", ...

English: “Cocaine toothache drops”, 1885 advertisement of cocaine for dental pain in children. United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cocaine smuggler from B.C. sentenced to 18 years, border guard to 15
Former Canada Border Services Agency guard Baljinder Kandola got a 15 year sentence and Shminder Johal, the “overseer” of a cocaine smuggling ring, was handed an 18-year term.

Justice Selwyn Romilly summarized his decision on sentencing before handing out his 32-page ruling to lawyers and members of the media.

The judge explained that Kandola deserved 14 years for his role in the cocaine conspiracy, plus an additional year for breach of trust “by facilitating the importation of cocaine,” for a total term of 15 years.

Johal got 16 years for cocaine smuggling and then an additional two years for smuggling three firearms into B.C. along with the massive cocaine load.

“Society does not benefit from any indication that public officials may be bought,” Romilly said of the elaborate operation. “It is necessary for the courts to impose serious sentences in circumstances where private citizens have purchased the abuse of a public official‘s authority. Such conduct cannot be sanctioned.”

Romilly said there were few mitigating factors in the case.

“Aggravating factors include the fact that Kandola breached his position of trust as a border services guard and that he accepted bribes provided by Johal in pursuit of that breach,” Romilly said.

Both men were arrested in October 2007 after Kandola allowed the group’s “transporter” -Herman Riar – through the Pacific Highway border crossing carrying 208 kilos of cocaine and three guns.

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