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Mounties crack strongbox caper

A 21-year-old Nanaimo man was arrested Saturday night on drug charges after he was found in possession of a safe containing thousands of dollars in Canadian cash and nearly two ounces of cocaine.

Plain clothes officers with the Nanaimo RCMP were monitoring activity of houses known to be involved in drug activity at about 11 p.m. when they first spotted the suspect who left the area in a taxi.

After he stopped briefly at a home he got back into the taxi carrying a small safe under his arm. At this point the officers decided to pull the taxi over near the intersection of Wakesiah Avenue and Second Street.

Through a short conversation with the suspect, police established grounds to arrest him and search the safe.

"In the safe was almost $7,000 in Canadian currency, almost $2,000 worth of powdered cocaine and lots of paraphernalia, which would support drug trafficking," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said there was enough evidence to support recommended charges of possession for the purposes of trafficking.

The suspect was later released on a promise to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court May 16.

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