Cablegate: Major Drug Seizure in Atlantic Canada
UNCLAS HALIFAX 000172
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR CA VE
SUBJECT: MAJOR DRUG SEIZURE IN ATLANTIC CANADA
1. This past weekend, at Whitney Pier, Sydney, Nova Scotia,
Canada, during a routine search of the Canadian Steamship Lines
vessel the "Shelia Ann", Canadian Border Services Agency
officials and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized 83 kilos
of cocaine. The drugs were hidden in two duffle bags and are
said to be worth C$10 million. The ship was reported as coming
to Canada from Maracaibo, Venezuela, with a load of coal for a
Nova Scotia power plant. The drugs were reportedly hidden in an
underwater grate at the bottom of the ship in Venezuela. Police
believe divers were used to put the cocaine in the grate.
2. After a thorough investigation of the ship and interviews
with the captain and crew, the "Sheila Ann" was released on July
2, 2004 for it's onward destination in Florida. Consulate staff
observed it leaving Halifax harbor the same day.
3. This seizure has gained national interest as the ship
belongs to a Montreal-based company, CSL, formerly owned by
Prime Minister Paul Martin and his wife Sheila and since August
2003 controlled by their three sons.