Inside Logistics

Tonne of opium seized at Port Metro Vancouver

Largest drug seizure in CBSA history


March 30, 2021
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The seized drugs weighed approximately a tonne. (CBSA image)

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the RCMP seized a tonne of opium at the Port of Vancouver in a joint investigation.

The operation, involving the CBSA Pacific Region Intelligence Section (PRIS) and the­ RCMP, led to a record amount of opium being seized.

In early February 2021, PRIS partnered with the RCMP Federal Serious & Organized Crime (FSOC) section in an investigation into suspected maritime smuggling. Subsequently, border services officers from the CBSA’s Metro Vancouver Marine Operations, in collaboration with PRIS and the RCMP FSOC, conducted an examination of two ocean containers.

Using a wide range of detection tools and technology and detector dogs, officers discovered approximately 1,000 kilograms of opium.

The opium was found in two containers at the post of Vancouver.

The estimated value of the seizure is $10 million. This is one of the largest opium seizures for the CBSA on record.

“This seizure demonstrates the remarkable partnership the CBSA and the RCMP have when it comes to preventing illicit drugs from entering Canada and ensuring the safety and security of Canadians every day,” said Yvette-Monique Gray, director, enforcement and intelligence operations division, Pacific Region, Canada Border Services Agency.

“During these unprecedented times, it is imperative that the CBSA continues to work very closely with the RCMP and law enforcement agencies across Canada in monitoring and investigating cross-border smuggling of illicit drugs.”

In support of the follow up investigation, CBSA Operations and Intelligence personnel worked collaboratively to analyze and gather all information related to this shipment. The criminal investigation is ongoing by the RCMP FSOC section.

The CBSA’s Intelligence Section helps identify border-related risks. Intelligence activities are conducted to identify individuals and entities that are of interest to the CBSA in connection to organized crime, drug smuggling, and other violations of the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.