Your Grandma Might Be a Drug Mule, Government Warns

Senior citizens are being targeted by traffickers to smuggle drugs, a new report says.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
November 19, 2018, 5:00pm
image of senior citizens who can be targeted as drug trafficker,Canada border services agency warns
Images via shutterstock/wikipedia commons

Senior citizens are being targeted by drug trafficking organizations to smuggle drugs into Canada, according to an advisory by the Canada Border Services Agency obtained by CBC News.

The advisory, which CBC obtained under the Access to Information Act, said seniors are being scammed online and in some cases losing “substantial money” to traffickers, who then coerce them into smuggling drugs as a means of recovering their cash. According to CBC News, the advisory says, trafficking organizations groom and manipulate their targets using a variety of techniques.

"While organizations like these victimize consumers of all ages, backgrounds and income levels, the elderly appear to have been disproportionately targeted by these networks.”

The advisory recommended CBSA employees keep an eye out for potential senior drug smugglers, and also noted that seniors traveling through countries with harsh drug penalties, including death, are particularly vulnerable.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.