‘Absolutely false’: Justin Trudeau denies flying to G20 in plane full of cocaine

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s office strongly denied the claim that his plane was “full of cocaine” when he came to India for the G20 meet this month.

“This (is) absolutely false and a troubling example of how disinformation can make its way into media reporting,” his office said in a statement on Wednesday as it dismissed the unsubstantiated claim floated by a retired Indian diplomat during a TV discussion, according to the Toronto Star.

The bizarre claim, which has been widely reported in the Indian media, comes amid a fierce diplomatic spat between the two countries. Canada and India have both ejected one of each other’s senior diplomats after Mr Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of Indian state involvement in the death of a Sikh leader in Canada.

Former Indian ambassador to Sudan Deepak Vohra said on Monday there were “credible rumours” that “sniffer dogs found cocaine on his plane” and that Mr Trudeau “didn’t come out of his room for two days”.

“He didn’t go to the president’s dinner. People say he was in a drug-induced stupor,” Mr Vohra claimed while appearing on Zee News as a panelist on a show hosted by anchor Deepak Chaurasia.

The show began as the anchor attempted to unpack “how the brain of the Canadian prime minister worked”.

“Does he have a brain? He is a tiny infant,” responded Mr Vohra, adding that when his wife spotted Mr Trudeau at Delhi airport, he looked “troubled”.

“...Can’t say what’s going on in his head but I understand his behaviour shows he was freaked out,” he said. His claims were not questioned by the anchor.

"He has become lonely. He is now trying to show that he is a Canadian Rambo and nothing can go wrong in his presence. India has done the right thing by suspending visa services in Canada," he said.

The comments came during one of the worst spells for diplomatic relations between India and Canada in decades following the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The crisis between New Delhi and Ottawa unfolded last week after prime minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian state of involvement in the killing of the Canadian national.

Nijjar was murdered in Vancouver on 18 June by two masked men, who fired an estimated 30 to 50 shots at him.

Canadian officials say they have human and signals intelligence backing up their claims regarding the killing, including communications involving Indian officials in Canada, CBC reported.

"I can assure you that the decision to share these allegations on the floor of the House of Commons … was not done lightly," Mr Trudeau told parliament last week. "It was done with the utmost seriousness."

The allegations have sparked a bitter row between the two countries.

Ottawa expelled a senior diplomat working for Indian intelligence, while India – which labelled Nijjar a “terrorist” in 2020 – angrily rejected the allegation as "absurd", expelled the chief of Canadian intelligence in India, issued travel warnings, stopped issuing visas for Canadians and ordered Canada to downsize its diplomatic presence in India.