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Report: Drugs rampant at Toronto airport

Oct. 12, 2011 at 8:56 AM

TORONTO, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Millions of dollars of drugs are being smuggled through Toronto's international airport by workers not subject to background checks, a senator said.

In response to the seizures of nearly $2 million worth of heroin and cocaine since last week in bags that had been tampered with by airport workers, Liberal Sen. Colin Kenny called for background checks of all airport workers, the Toronto Sun said.

Kenny, head of a national security committee, said past investigations by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police showed members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and 57 other organized crime groups were working as baggage handlers and on other jobs that aren't screened.

"The Hells Angels have a better distribution system than FedEx," Kenny told the newspaper. "They not only deliver, but they launder (money) too."

A senior airport security official who didn't want to be identified said corrupt workers tampering with luggage was an enormous problem.

"The amount of drugs being brought into the country through internal conspiracy is rampant," the official said. "More drugs are being brought into the airport internally than by arriving travelers."

RCMP Sgt. Richard Rollings said there were ongoing investigations, but he couldn't reveal them.

"Due to its size, Pearson International Airport functions in a similar way to a small city," Rollings said. "Like most cities it has its associated criminal element that is involved in the importation of illicit drugs."

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