Canada Border Services Agency spotted suspicious contents in a container being shipped from China marked as carrying 'footwear.'
Photograph by: Submitted, CBSA/RCMP
The RCMP says a major, Lower Mainland drug-trafficking and fraud ring has been busted.
Police and border officers seized up to almost $10 million in chemicals, used in the manufacture of ecstasy and metamphetamine. Some of it was found in a marine container sent from China.
“In early October of this year, the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) identified a suspicious shipment coming into the Port of Vancouver from China, and the 20-foot marine container was referred for inspection,” said RCMP in a release Wednesday.
“The container’s documentation identified the shipment as ‘footwear.’ However, during their examination, CBSA officers uncovered 150 boxes hidden within the load that each contained a 22-kilo jug of suspected P2P, or phenyl 2 propanone.”
Police say P2P is a precursor used primarily in the production of ecstasy as well as methamphetamine.
“The rest of the shipment contained suspected counterfeit Nike running shoes,” added RCMP.
On Oct. 18, a “controlled delivery” was made to a home in the 13000-block of Gilbert Road, Richmond.
About two weeks later, the RCMP’s federal drug enforcement branch arrested two men and a woman and searched two homes in Richmond, one in Vancouver and another in Burnaby.
Search warrants found another 129 22-litre containers of P2P, credit-card skimmers, a counterfeiting operation, an identity-theft operation and small amounts of ecstasy and metamphetamine.
Police also found $130,000 in cash.
While it’s legal to possess P2P in Canada, it’s illegal to import it, say police.
The total value of the P2P is between $7.3 million and $9.8 million.
The two men and the woman are known to police.
They have been released and are expected to face charges ranging from importing a controlled substance, to possession of instruments for falsifying credit cards, to unauthorized use of credit card data, said RCMP.
“Together, the CBSA and RCMP have dismantled a significant criminal operation in Metro Vancouver,” said RCMP in a release. “Drug trafficking, fraud and smuggling cannot be looked at in isolation. High-level crime, and the profit, violence and risk it produces, [are] all connected.”
By Damian Inwood,
November 24, 2010
Shipping, home raids net multimillion-dollar cache of ecstasy chemicals