RCMP make largest cocaine bust in Yukon history

Saturday night, RCMP stopped a cube van heading north on the Alaska Highway toward Whitehorse. Concealed among produce boxes and restaurant…

Saturday night, RCMP stopped a cube van heading north on the Alaska Highway toward Whitehorse.

Concealed among produce boxes and restaurant supplies, police discovered the largest shipment of cocaine they’d ever found in the territory.

Police seized about 4.95 kilograms of cocaine divided into five bricks and eight baggies.

As well, they confiscated 41 kilograms of marijuana, which had been divided into 183 freezer bags hidden in seven boxes.

There was also other drug paraphernalia, including two money counting machines.

If sold on the street, this would make nearly 5,000 one-gram sales of coke, and between 5,125 and 6,833 marijuana joints, according to an RCMP release.

Samples of the seized drugs will be sent to the lab for analysis.

Jacob Kwong Lee, 46, of Whitehorse and Frank Yat Fan Tse, 48, of Vancouver were arrested at about 10:20 p.m. Saturday without incident.

Both charged with one count of possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

“Police were able to intercept the drug shipment thanks to valuable information from the public,” said Whitehorse RCMP Cpl. Grant MacDonald on Monday.

Both men are in custody. They are scheduled to appear in court this week. (LC)

Klondike claims contested in Yukon court

After 20 years mining and maintaining nearly 800 claims near Dawson City, two companies have been told they didn’t own some of the land.

Now the miners are accusing the federal and territorial governments of “malfeasance,” “misrepresentation,” and “negligence,” according to documents filed in Yukon Supreme Court.

They’re claiming damages, interest and any other relief the court deems just for their loss of time and money maintaining the claims.

Between 1984 and 1990, Peter Risby acquired title to 795 claims on the Indian River near Dawson on behalf of two companies — 6167 Yukon Inc and Nnathur Resources.

The companies received grants from Canada and the Yukon giving them the right to mine the land and transfer the claims, and those grants were renewed annually.

In 2003, the companies applied to cut their exploration costs by grouping the claims together. They submitted the request to Dawson’s mining recorder.

The application was denied because the plaintiffs did not own 33 claims, according to letter from the mining recorder’s office.

The Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation had asserted ownership of the claims as part of its settlement lands.

But, “At all relevant times the denied claims were titled to one of the plaintiffs,” according to court documents filed on February 9.

And the plaintiffs were never told of any issues relating to their claims.

The plaintiffs claim Canada and the Yukon acted with “reckless indifference to the legality of their actions,” according to the court documents.

And the two governments knew that denying the plaintiff’s ownership of the claims was “likely to injure the plaintiffs.

“In firstly granting and then denying the ownership of the denied claims, the defendants breached the duty of care to the plaintiffs who had, in good faith, discharged all conditions of ownership for a period of 20 years,” according to the documents.

Both the federal government, fronted by the minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, and the territorial government, fronted by the minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, are listed as defendants on the court documents because Yukon took responsibility for mining activity through devolution in 2004.