Border and RCMP officials announced a “significant” seizure of suspected opium poppy at the Pacific Highway crossing in South Surrey.
According to a news release issued this morning (Aug. 28), one driver was arrested after 29 kilograms of suspected dried opium poppy plants, including the pods, were located Aug. 12 during examination of a northbound commercial vehicle.
Canada Border Services Agency officers referred a driver for further inspection, and X-ray imaging of the tractor and trailer “revealed anomalies,” the release states.
“Officers continued their examination and located seven boxes” of the suspected drugs.
“Officers arrested the driver and turned them, along with the suspected opium poppy plants, over to the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit,” the release states. “The driver was released pending a further ongoing investigation.”
CBSA estimates the value of the seized product at $58,000.
Opium poppy, “is the source of all natural opioids, including doda, a highly-addictive street drug made from dried pods and husks,” Daniela Evans, director of Pacific Highway District, said in the release.
Only licensed dealers under the Narcotic Control Regulations are allowed to import or export opium, with a valid permit, the release adds.
“The CBSA conducts risk-based screening at the border and works with the RCMP to protect Canadians from all forms of drug smuggling,” said Evans.
RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Insp. Stephen Lee said the investigation highlights the importance of the relationship between the CBSA and RCMP in detecting and intercepting drugs.
“Such partnerships are critical in supporting our ongoing commitment to combatting transnational organized crime,” Lee said.