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Man arrested after trying to smuggle kilograms of heroin into Calgary’s airport

A lone traveler enters the Calgary International Airport on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh. JMC

Authorities have arrested a man for trying to import several kilograms of heroin into Canada via commercial air travel.

On Monday, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at Calgary International Airport selected a traveller on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, for a “secondary inspection.” That inspection revealed four packages containing five kilograms of suspected heroin concealed within a suitcase.

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The Integrated Border Enforcement Team, which includes members of Alberta RCMP, the Calgary Police Service and the CBSA, then took over the investigation.

On Tuesday, Bernard Lieven J. Vandenberghe, a 63-year-old Belgian national, was arrested and charged with importation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and smuggling.

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“This significant seizure and resulting investigation are a testament to the strong partnership the RCMP shares with CBSA and Calgary Police Service,” Alberta RCMP Insp. Germain Leger.

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“We know that crime has no borders and it is imperative that we continue working with our partners to share information and coordinate enforcement, as needed, to keep Canadians safe from the harms of illegal drugs and crime related to smuggling.”

Vandenberghe was remanded into custody and had a bail hearing on Wednesday at the Calgary Provincial Courthouse.

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