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Tsawwassen meth seizure the largest in CBSA history

Seizure one of four made by the agency since December totaling 6,334 kilograms of the drug
Between December of 2022 and May of 2023, the Canada Border Services Agency made four “significant” seizures of methamphetamine hidden within jugs labeled as canola oil and destined for export to Australia. The seizures were made at container examination facilities in Burnaby and Tsawwassen and amounted to more than 6,330 kilograms of the drug. (Canada Border Services Agency photo)

More than 2,900 kilograms of methamphetamine found by Canada Border Services Agency officers in Tsawwassen earlier this year is the largest single seizure of the drug in the agency’s history.

And it was just one of four related “significant” seizures of meth in the Lower Mainland over the past six months.

CBSA announced on Wednesday (June 14) it had confiscated more than 6,330 kilograms of methamphetamine found in jugs labelled as canola oil and destined for export to Australia.

On Dec. 12 of last year, officers at CBSA’s Burnaby container examination facility seized 40 jugs containing a total of 204 kg of crystal methamphetamine.

Just over a month later, on Jan. 22, officers at the Tsawwassen container examination facility seized another 180 jugs containing a total of 2,907 kg of liquid methamphetamine — enough to fill 35 large suitcases, the agency said, making it the CBSA’s largest methamphetamine seizure to date.

Twice more in May officers at the Tsawwassen facility found jugs containing liquid methamphetamine: 19 of them containing 325 kg of the drug on May 2, and another 180 containing 2,898 kg of meth on May 31.

The agency credited collaboration between law enforcement and border services in Canada, Australia and New Zealand for the seizures.

“The successful seizure of more than 6,330 kg of methamphetamine is a testament to the exemplary work and investigative expertise shown by border officers from the Metro Vancouver District, as well as our intelligence officers, analysts and liaison officers,” Nina Patel, CBSA’s regional director general, pacific region, said in a press release.

“We are proud to have contributed to the largest methamphetamine seizure in CBSA’s history and I want to recognize and thank our partners, including the RCMP, Australian Federal Police, and New Zealand Police and [New Zealand] Customs Service for their hard work and dedication to public safety.”

SEE ALSO: Lower Mainland opium seizure largest in Canada Border Service Agency’s history

Five Australian citizens and one American were arrested in Australia over their alleged connection to the operation and the investigation has been referred to the RCMP in British Columbia.

“The safety and security of Canadians is our government’s top priority,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a press release. “I want to thank the CBSA, the RCMP and our Australian and New Zealand law enforcement partners for their excellent work in disrupting organized crime and protecting our communities from dangerous narcotics.”

Wednesday’s announcement of the seizures comes less than a month after the agency said announced it had intercepted 140 kg of methamphetamine in a container bound for export to New Zealand.

CBSA officers at the Tsawwassen container examination facility found the drugs on March 30 in a shipment identified based on intelligence provided by the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs Service.

That investigation has also been referred to the B.C. RCMP.

“New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Customs Service are pleased to have contributed to the methamphetamine seizure in Canada, stopping its export,” New Zealand Customs Service intelligence manager Bruce Berry and New Zealand Police Detective Insp. Tom Gollan said in a joint statement.

“The risk of transnational organised crime impacts us all. This result really highlights the value of sharing information with international partners to prevent cross-border crime.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

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James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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