The drugs were hidden inside 247 shipping pallets Image Credit: Canada Border Services Agency

Vancouver: A tip off from Dubai Police has lead to the largest opium seizure in the modern Canadian history.

Canadian authorities recently announced the seizure of nearly 2.5 tonnes of opium in Vancouver, British Columbia, after receiving a reliable security tip from Dubai Police about 19 shipping containers suspected of containing narcotic substances and heading to Canada.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said that in September 2022, the CBSA Intelligence Sections and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Federal Serious and Organised Crime (FSOC) unit initiated an investigation into a potential significant importation of controlled substances concealed inside marine containers.

On October 25, 2022, the CBSA’s Metro Vancouver Marine Operations examined goods in 19 marine containers based on this investigation. Using a wide range of detection tools, including X-ray technology, officers discovered irregularities in the shipping pallets as part of a deep concealment method. Further physical examination confirmed around 2,486 kilograms of opium within 247 shipping pallets.

Dubai Police tracked shipment's itinerary for over 70 days Image Credit: Canada Border Services Agency

Dubai Police on Friday said the record drug haul is another example of their collaboration with Canadian authorities and law enforcement agencies.

The force reaffirmed its commitment, per the directives of the Ministry of Interior, to maintaining vital communication channels with the world’s police agencies to tackle transnational organised crime.

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Shipment tracking

Dubai Police added that they had held an urgent meeting with the Canadian liaison officer and provided him with preliminary information, including the path of the marine containers through five countries to their final destination in Canada. The force said that they remained in constant coordination with the Canadian authorities and tracked the shipment’s itinerary for nearly 73 days until it arrived at the Vancouver port in Canada, where Canadian authorities carried out the drug seizure.

‘Dent in crime’

Will Ng, Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), thanked the General Department of Anti-narcotics at Dubai Police for their contribution to the operation, adding that they work closely with domestic and international partners and take a proactive intelligence-led approach to combat transnational organised crime.

“The joint investigation contributed to keeping nearly 2,500 kilograms of opium with an estimated street value of over 50 million Canadian dollars ($37 million) from entering the province of British Columbia. This significant drug seizure has undoubtedly put a dent in organised crime,” he said.