sunwing cocaine bust

Sunwing employees charged as police bust drug ring at Toronto airport

If history has taught us anything, it's a bad idea to try and run a cocaine smuggling ring out of  your place of employment — doubly so when you work at an international airport.

RCMP in Kitchener announced today that 11 people have been charged with a total of 40 offences related to the trafficking of fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in the GTA and Southwestern Ontario.

The charges stem from an undercover operation that saw federal police officers "directly infiltrate several high level drug trafficking groups" and eventually seize roughly $10 million worth of drugs, as well as some $400,000 in cash and three vehicles valued at $170,000.

That investigation, dubbed project OWoodcraft, also uncovered what RCMP officials call "members of a cocaine importation ring working out of the Toronto Pearson International Airport."

"The investigation relating to the importation of cocaine resulted in the arrest of two Sunwing Airlines employees working at TPIA," reads a release issued by the RCMP on Friday. "These employees are charged with attempting to import cocaine and trafficking cocaine."

"The RCMP wishes to thank Sunwing Airlines for their assistance during this investigation," police continue. "Sunwing's commitment to safety and security was evident and their cooperation was instrumental in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion."

Based on a list of charges laid, the Sunwing employees appear to be Andrej Marek Krawczyk, 40, of Kitchener and Gianni Ballestrin, 46, of Mississauga.

Both face multiple counts of attempting to import or trafficking in a controlled substance contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, as well as "conspiracy to import cocaine" contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Lead photo by

Trevor Ogle


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