RCMP seize chemicals to make “millions” of doses of fentanyl
RCMP seize chemicals to make “millions“ of doses of fentanyl
The RCMP in British Columbia made a major drug bust when they arrested six individuals and seized precursor chemicals that could have produced millions of doses of fentanyl in two operations. This investigation, led by the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime program and in cooperation with other police forces, spanned over 22 months. Raids were carried out in several locations throughout Metro Vancouver, including Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Delta, Richmond and North Vancouver.
The investigation began when the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted 54 boxes of liquid gamma–butyrolactone, a controlled precursor chemical, in April 2021, leading police to two suspected smugglers. On February 23, 2021, police raided multiple locations and seized 600 kilograms of a fentanyl precursor, 200 kilograms of an MDMA precursor, firearms, three high–end vehicles, luxury watches, electronics, cash, cannabis and other chemicals.
Mounties estimated that the chemicals could have yielded 525 kilograms of fentanyl and about 150 kilograms of MDMA. Police also discovered the largest–ever pill–pressing facility, which had the capability to manufacture up to 60,000 pills per hour.
Organized crime has increased
Organized crime groups have increasingly been turning to importing precursor chemicals to manufacture illegal drugs in order to avoid detection at Canada’s borders. In 2022, nearly 2,300 people lost their lives due to the consumption of suspected illicit toxic drugs in B.C. alone.
Assistant Commissioner Will Ng, Officer in Charge of RCMP federal investigative services and organized crime, expressed his relief that “hundreds of millions of doses of potentially lethal toxic drugs have been kept away from our communities, having possibly saved thousands of lives and spared an untold number of families from having to grieve the loss of their loved ones”. Similarly, RCMP Superintendent David Teboul, Acting Officer in Charge of the B.C. RCMP Federal Policing Program, said that the raids have “undoubtedly caused a major blow to the organized crime groups involved in this production.”
The RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime program has made tremendous strides against organized crime with this operation, potentially saving lives and protecting the citizens of British Columbia from extremely hazardous drugs. The arrest of the six individuals and the seizure of the precursor chemicals are both steps forward in ensuring that illegal drugs do not make it onto the streets and into the hands of vulnerable individuals.