CBSA and RCMP investigation leads to a tonne of opium seized 

News release

March 29, 2021             Vancouver, British Columbia                  Canada Border Services Agency

Despite the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are committed to safeguarding our country and keeping contraband goods, such as narcotics, from reaching our communities.

The CBSA today announced the result of a joint operation, involving the CBSA Pacific Region Intelligence Section (PRIS) and the­ RCMP, which 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 smuggling in the marine mode. 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 estimated value of the seizure is $10 million. This is one of the largest opium seizures for the CBSA on record.

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.

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“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. 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.” 

·       Yvette-Monique Gray, Director, Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Division, Pacific Region, Canada Border Services Agency

Quick facts

  • The CBSA's Intelligence Section plays a key role in the identification of border-related risks and in protecting the safety and security of Canadians. 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.

  • Border services officers are highly trained in examination and investigative techniques to intercept prohibited goods and illicit drugs from entering Canada.

  • The CBSA and the RCMP work together to prevent illegal drug smuggling that endangers the safety of Canadian communities and generates profits for organized crime, and to ensure that perpetrators are investigated and prosecuted.

  • If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the CBSA Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060.

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Nancy Pham

A/Communications Advisor

Canada Border Services Agency

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