Denis Ivziku, wanted as of Aug. 11, 2022, in a national investigation into global drug and firearm trafficking. (RCMP handout)
Denis Ivziku, wanted as of Aug. 11, 2022, in a national investigation into global drug and firearm trafficking. (RCMP handout)

Denis Ivziku, wanted as of Aug. 11, 2022, in a national investigation into global drug and firearm trafficking. (RCMP handout) Denis Ivziku, wanted as of Aug. 11, 2022, in a national investigation into global drug and firearm trafficking. (RCMP handout)

BC RCMP still looking for Denis Ivziku, wanted in international drug, firearm trafficking case

Ivziku was one of 22 people charged in relation to Project Divergent, last person at large

BC RCMP are renewing calls to the public as part of a manhunt for the last person facing charges in connection to an international drug and firearm trafficking ring.

Denis Ivziku was one of 22 people charged in relation to Project Divergent, which was made public in March as part of a multi-year investigation that uncovered a Canada-wide network and included members of the Hells Angels.

Multiple police techniques were used to infiltrate the networks, and investigators began to see large-volume transactions happening with cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl, as well as assault-style firearms and ammunition.

Twenty of the people charged were arrested on Feb. 23, and since then one other was arrested, leaving Ivziku the only one at large.

Investigators said Thursday (Aug. 11) that he has connections to the Lower Mainland, specifically Burnaby, and could be evading arrest in the region.

Police said that Ivziku does not have known ties to the Lower Mainland gang conflict. He is described as 5-foot-five-inches tall and roughly 150 to 160 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact RCMP at 431-338-0956 or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.

Project Divergent included big seizures

The investigation began in 2018 when a Manitoba RCMP criminal analyst noticed trends in the importation of drugs into Canada. In partnership with policing agencies across Canada and across the world, investigators managed to target several prominent drug traffickers operating in Manitoba.

Through their investigative work, police arrested Damion Ryan, a full-patch Hells Angels member with the Attica chapter in Greece. That led to the arrest of 20 individuals, 17 of whom were operating in Manitoba. Two B.C. men, Kelvin Lee Nelson and Mazin Nzar Zandy were charged in the investigation.

READ MORE: B.C. military helps scuttle ship carrying more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine

Officers seized 110kgs of cocaine, 41.4kgs of methamphetamine, three kilograms of fentanyl, a half a kilogram of MDMA, 14 handguns, five assault-style rifles and more than $445,000 in Canadian currency.

“Project Divergent disrupted the supply chain and took these drugs off the street,” said Insp. Grant Stephen, officer in charge of the federal, serious, and organized crime section.

“The utter disregard for human life shown by those involved in these networks, specifically those at the top of the chain, became very clear during this investigation, and we were able to take them out of the equation.”

Crime

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