(Packages of suspected cocaine seized by CBSA and RCMP)

Over 16 kilograms of suspected cocaine have been seized from a commercial vessel that arrived at a port near Victoria in June.

In a statement released Tuesday August 11, the Canadian Border Services Agency and BC RCMP announced that a commercial vessel arrived at the Constance Bank Short Term Anchorage near Victoria.

According to the statement, the vessel was conducting legitimate business, travelling between South America, Europe, the Caribbean and the United States, before arriving in B.C. waters on June 2.

However when Border Services agents performed an examination, they found 11 individually wrapped packages in the ship’s engine room.

A test of the contents of those packages revealed a large amount of suspected cocaine and officers seized a total of 16.84 kilograms of cocaine. But that’s not all.

The day after these packages were unearthed, the CBSA Vancouver Island Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) along with the RCMP Vancouver Island Dive Team continued examining the vessel.

The dive team operation under the waterline vessel revealed evidence of tampering, which leads investigators to believe that there had likely been more drugs on the ship that were retrieved underwater before law enforcement intervened.

No other narcotics were discovered on board the vessel.

“The RCMP and CBSA are keeping up with concealment methods for illicit contraband, continually adapting to new trends,” said Superintendent Bert Ferreira, Officer in Charge of the BC RCMP Border Integrity Program, in a statement.

“Sharing best practices and good communication provide us with great intelligence so we can keep disrupting the activities of Organized Crime groups.

No arrests were made and no charges have been laid.

Police say the estimated value of the cocaine seized is $875,000.