Drug smuggling has become a problem for Canada’s Punjabis

By Surjit Singh Flora

The drugs have started eating away at our Punjabi youth. This disease has spread throughout North America. The desire to earn quick money without any hard work has pushed many Punjabi youth into drug trafficking.

Last year a Punjabi husband and wife were caught by the RCMP with cocaine worth $8.4 million. It was a large consignment of drugs being taken from the United States to Calgary. The couple, identified as Gurminder Singh Toor, 31, and Kirandeep Kaur Toor, 26, were arrested in connection with the cocaine.

The drug business has been a problem for around 10 years in Punjab and has severely affected its youth. Thousands of youth have lost their lives following drug abuse. Thousands more have become physically impaired due to drug addiction.

Last year in Vancouver, a number of Punjabi youth died thanks to this phenomenon. The British Columbia coroner recently announced that in 2017 there were 1,422 deaths from illicit drug overdose deaths. That’s up from 993 in 2016.

Although among the gangs of drug smugglers there are dozens of Punjabi Sikhs. It seems now that in Canada and U.S., Punjabi truck drivers have started to smuggling drugs. This is a very dangerous trend.

Punjabis are recognized for their hard work around the world and the Punjabi community is well-known in Canada. There are now 18 Sikh politicians federally, as well as several federal cabinet ministers. There are also many legislators and ministers in each provincial government. Punjabis have also made a big name for themselves in the fields of employment, education, IT, medical, etc.

But now we see part of our new generation heading towards drug piracy — it is a very unfortunate and dangerous trend. Some of these drugs originate in Afghanistan where there is a large amount of opium cultivation. The drug from Afghanistan then goes to Pakistan and then to the border. Some parts of the drug from Punjab go straight to foreign countries and some parts are sent to Canada, U.S. and other countries through Mumbai and Nepal. A large racket works at the international level of drug trafficking.

The Punjabi community’s new generation is being lured by the promise of making money fast. Our societies need to start campaigning against this deadly tendency.

In Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto there are also indications there are Punjabis in the truck business who have turned to drug smuggling.

Our families have worked hard and have started living well, all by respectable work. We have gained lots of respect in Canadian society. After just about a hundred years of hard work from our elders, we have been able to achieve strong positions in countries such as Canada. But if someone wants to spoil the image, it’s a game of minutes.

It is the advice of our gurus that without hunger and patience, hunger does not end. Money, profit, and popularity lead us astray.

In countries like Canada, we enjoy a variety of conveniences. Human rights and laws give us protection. We are mostly safe from all forms of discrimination. But if we get involved in illegal trades it not only destroys the lives of individuals, but it also causes embarrassment for the entire Sikh community.

Therefore, it is the duty of our families that in the care of our youth, they should not be allowed to get involved in extravagant, cheap, and desperate pursuits. The couple caught last year, who have lived a beautiful life up until now, may find themselves in jail for their misdeeds.

Surjit Singh Flora is a Brampton-based freelance writer.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora

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