Delta police say they seized thousands of opium poppy pods last week intended to be ground into doda powder.
Officers with the Delta police drug section seized 132 boxes containing over 36,000 opium poppy pods in the 8600-block of 120 Street on Friday.
Police estimate the street value of the seizure at $760,000.
Sgt. Sharlene Brooks of the Delta police said the seizure was the result of an ongoing investigation.
“We had information and intelligence received over recent weeks, and we’ve been following up and conducting an investigation,” she said.
No arrests have been made in the investigation.
This is the second doda bust in Delta in a few weeks, and the third major seizure of the drug in the Lower Mainland.
On August 13, RCMP seized $46,000 worth of opium poppy seeds, pods and doda powder from a North Delta flower shop.
A 47-year-old Surrey man was arrested and later released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. Charges have not yet been determined, according to Brooks.
On Aug. 23, Chilliwack RCMP seized 60,000 opium poppies allegedly being cultivated to produce doda, in what police called the largest opium bust in Canadian history.
Other recent incidents involving seizure of doda or opium include two arrests made by RCMP near Kamloops on Sept. 7. More than $10,000 in Canadian and U.S. currency and 222 grams of doda were seized after officers with RCMP Southeast District Traffic Services stopped a vehicle for speeding on Highway 1. Two men, aged 31 and 29, from Surrey were arrested and are facing charges of possesion of doda.
On Aug. 31, Burnaby RCMP arrested two men allegedly involved in smuggling opium from the Middle East to Canada after Canada Border Services Agencies officials working at the International Mail Processing Centre in Toronto detected three kilograms of opium destined for Burnaby.
Doda is a highly addictive opiate derived from the poppy flower. The bulb of the flower is dried and then ground into a powder form, which is typically added to tea. The powder contains opium derivatives morphine and codeine.
By Yolande Cole, The Province
September 14, 2010
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