Four Men Charged for Illegal Gun Importation and Export of Illegally Grown Cannabis Across Canada/USA Border via Helicopter

Published: September 10, 2020

Four Men Charged for Illegal Gun Importation and Export of Illegally Grown Cannabis Across Canada/USA Border via Helicopter

After a 16-month joint investigation with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Ontario and Quebec with the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) – Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team, executed six (6) search warrants within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Quebec. This resulted in the seizure of a quantity of suspected restricted and prohibited handguns, over 800 plants and dried cannabis from an illegal grow operation, and approximately 400 grams of suspected cocaine.

The group was found to be cultivating cannabis outside of Health Canada regulations in the GTA. On several occasions the group used a Jet Ranger helicopter to fly the illegally grown cannabis across the Canada-U.S. border between the ports of entry at low altitudes to avoid detection.  The helicopter, a truck and trailer were seized as offence-related property. An investigation into the origin of the handguns is ongoing.

RCMP officers of the Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment Serious and Organized Crime Unit arrested:

Kamal Deep Bassan, 36 years of age, from Vaughan, Ontario;

Ramindejit Assi, 25 years if age, from Burlington, Ontario;

Derek Chi-Yeung Ng, 40 years of age, from East Gwillimbury, Ontario; and

Parmjot Saini, 30 years of age, from Woodbridge, Ontario.

All four individuals are jointly charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit the unlawful export of cannabis, possession of cannabis for the purpose of exporting it and cultivating cannabis not at a dwelling house, contrary to the Criminal Code;
  • Possession of cannabis for the purpose of Export Contrary to the Cannabis Act;
  • Unlawful export of cannabis contrary to the Cannabis Act;
  • Unlawful cultivation propagation and harvest of cannabis plants at a place that is not a dwelling house, contrary to the Cannabis Act;
  • Possession of forged documents, contrary to the Criminal Code.

Raminderjit Assi is further charged with:

  • Illegal possession of brass knuckles, a prohibited device, contrary to the Criminal Code;
  • Possession of cocaine, contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Derek Ng is further charged with:

  • Possession of cocaine, contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;
  • Possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing, contrary to the Cannabis Act.

Parmjot Saini is further charged with:

  • Possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing, contrary to the Cannabis Act.

“The success of the investigation is due to the diligent efforts of the RCMP officers, analysts, and the efforts of our partners, specifically U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Air and Marine Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Ontario Provincial Police – Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team. The RCMP continues to be committed to combatting Transnational Organized Crime and keeping our citizens safe by removing illicit commodities off the streets and out of the hands of these group,” stated Inspector Ann Koenig, RCMP Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment.  

“This important disruption removed 18 firearms from a criminal organization that posed a significant threat to Canadian communities and brazenly exploited our shared border through the air,” said Michael Buckley, Attaché, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Embassy Ottawa.  “The notable success of this investigation is the result of the international law enforcement partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Air and Marine Operations and the U.S. Border Patrol.”

The RCMP would like to further acknowledge the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Health Canada and the Forensic Management Accountants Group for their cooperation and collaboration during the course of the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact their local police, the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.