Gurminder Singh Toor, 31, and Kirandeep Kaur Toor, 26, a Punjabi Sikh couple living in US have been arrested in largest suspected cocaine seizure.
Canada Borders Services Agency had arrested California-based couple for smuggling 84 bricks of cocaine weighing around 100kg, enough for one lakh hits and worth $ 8million in their truck to Calgary city of Canada’s Alberta province, which has high concentration of Punjabis.
Both were held on the border, which connected US town of Sweet Grass, Montana, with Coutts town of Alberta, Canada.
The incident may affect the ongoing campaign that aims to promote a better understanding of the Sikh faith, its religious symbols and distinct identity among white fellow Americans, lack of which had led to hate crime against the community members.
Rajwant Singh, founder of the National Sikh Campaign says that such acts by a few brought disgrace to the whole community.
US-based chairman of Punjab Foundation Sukhi Chahal said only Sikh youths were involved in the narcotics smuggling racket between the US and Canadian border and were bringing shame to the community. He said, “They want to become millionaires overnight and so indulge in such illegal acts,”
Sukhi said such persons first illegally make money and then support the Sikh extremist groups involved in anti-India activities, which was unfortunate.
Alberta government has announced to give a $ 560,000 grant to Punjabi community health service to fight opioid abuse in Calgary’s South Asian community, which has the highest number of users. The Alberta government had already published opioid information kits in several languages, including Punjabi.
A young Canadian Sikh resident of Calgary, Manvinder Singh, said that a lot of Punjabis were involved in drug smuggling between US and Canada. “We are seen with suspicion because of these greedy elements, who should be given exemplary punishment since the matter is concerning the whole community.”