Vancouver, December 17
Around 2,500 kilograms of opium, worth more than USD 50 million, were seized from 247 shipping pallets at the Port of Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in Canada’s British Columbia, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced in a media advisory.
Notably, this is the largest opium seizure to date for the CBSA.
According to CBSA, Intelligence Sections and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) unit initiated an investigation into a potential significant importation of controlled substances concealed inside marine containers.
“On October 25, 2022, CBSA’s Metro Vancouver Marine Operations conducted an examination of goods within 19 marine containers based on this investigation. Using a wide range of detection tools and technology, including X-ray technology, officers discovered irregularities in the shipping pallets as part of a deep concealment method,” the statement said.
“Further physical examination confirmed approximately 2,486 kilograms of opium within 247 shipping pallets. The drugs seized were turned over to the RCMP FSOC unit for further criminal investigation,” it added.
Talking about the investigation, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said that the safety and security of the communities are the top priority. The work begins at the borders, stopping illicit drugs from coming into Canada and disrupting criminal activity. He also thanked CBSA employees for their quick and decisive action to keep the country safe.
“Today’s announcement shows that our front-line agencies are working hard to keep illegal substances off our streets. This is effective and essential work that keeps communities, especially those in proximity to ports, safe from crime. With CBSA making this historic seizure in British Columbia, Canadians can rest assured of the excellent work being done to keep communities across Canada safe,” Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, said.
“Our border services officers, intelligence officers and analysts work hard to ensure illicit and dangerous drugs stay out of our communities. This record seizure of opium is an example of their outstanding dedication to protecting our communities,” Nina Patel, Regional Director General of the Pacific Region of Canada Border Services Agency said.
Calling the announcement a clear demonstration of the dedication to keeping illicit drugs from entering the communities, Will Ng, Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that they are committed to protecting Canadians from the most serious criminal threats.
He also said that BC RCMP Federal Policing works closely with their domestic and international partners in combating organized crime. Being jointly responsible for protecting Canada’s border, the announcement is a clear demonstration of the dedication to keeping illicit drugs from entering the communities, through the enduring partnership, and ongoing collaboration with the CBSA, at home, and abroad, Ng added.