RCMP arrest a former journalist for conspiring to export cocaine to Australia

February 4, 2019
Toronto, Ontario

News release

On January 31st, 2019 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto Area (Toronto North Detachment) Serious & Organized Crime Section (TND SOC) arrested two Canadians for conspiring to import cocaine to Australia.

In December 2015, five individuals (four Canadians and one American) flew to Sydney, Australia. All five were interdicted by Australian authorities at Sydney International Airport and found to be in possession of nearly 40 kilograms of cocaine.

TND SOC investigators aided by Australian Federal Police conducted interviews and obtained evidence of the conspiracy to import cocaine. TND SOC investigators have charged the following Canadians with Conspiracy to Import Cocaine:

Yaroslav Pastukhov (28), formerly of Toronto, Ontario, is charged with:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)

Pastukhov is presently in custody and is scheduled for court on Monday February 4, 2019 at Old City Hall in Toronto.

Ali Taki Lalji (30) of Toronto, Ontario, is charged with:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)

Lalji is also in custody and he is next scheduled for a bail hearing on February 6, 2019 at Old City Hall in Toronto.

Both allegedly conspired with the five individuals to traffic cocaine into Australia. Pastukhov a former journalist had been residing in Montreal, Quebec, under an alias.

"This arrest by the RCMP came about as a result of efforts and collaboration on the part of multiple domestic and foreign partner Agencies and is a testament to the commitment of all agencies to bring these subjects to justice." said RCMP Superintendent Chris Leather, Officer in Charge of GTA Serious & Organized Crime. "Law enforcement plays an important role in strengthening and preserving the security and economic interests of Canada"

Law enforcement agencies work diligently to make our communities a safer place to live, however your assistance in remaining vigilant and informing us of any suspicious activities will help us be even more successful. You can contact your local police, the Ontario RCMP at 1-800-387-0020, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), at any time.

–30–

Contact information

Sgt. Penny HERMANN
RCMP Media Relations
RCMP "O" Division (Ontario)
PHONE # 905-876-9571

Twitter: @RCMPONT
Facebook: RCMP.Ontario
YouTube: RCMPGRCPOLICE
Website: RCMP in Ontario

Email: media.relations.rcmp-Ontario-relations.medias.grc@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Date modified: