Opium poppy pod seizure largest in CBSA history

CALGARY, Oct. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers of the Calgary Commercial Operations office have seized, on two separate occasions, a total of 7,262 kilos of opium poppy pods with an estimated street value of more than $14.5 million.

"This Government continues to give law enforcement the tools they need to make our communities safe. By keeping over 7,000 kilograms of opium off our streets, the CBSA is showing we're successful in this fight," said Minister Van Loan. "These seizures send a strong message to organized crime that the trafficking of drugs in our communities will not be tolerated."

On September 22, 2009, CBSA officers inspected a commercial container declared as "dried grasses." Inside officers found 12 skids containing more than 2,700 kilos of dried poppy pods worth an estimated $5,454,000.

The next day, CBSA officers became suspicious when a second unrelated commercial container declared as "dried flowers" was awaiting clearance for entry into Canada. Officers referred it for further examination and upon inspection found 26 skids totalling more than 4,500 kilos of dried poppy pods with an estimated street value of $9,071,847.

Opium pods contain opiates. Usually, they are crushed into a powder form commonly known as "doda." Doda has various uses; one is to mix it with tea. This drug is addictive and has the potential to be harmful when ingested.

Since January 1, 2009, the CBSA in Alberta has made 387 drug seizures and has kept more than $16 million worth of drugs off Canadian streets.

Photographs available upon request.

The Canada Border Services Agency is committed to providing a smarter, more secure and efficient border. To achieve this goal, the CBSA relies on information sharing, risk analysis, and technology. If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the Canada Border Services Agency Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060.

SOURCE Canada Border Services Agency

For further information: For further information: For media information: Lisa White, Communications Officer, (403) 292-4011

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