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1.5 tonnes of illicit fentanyl ingredient seized at Metro Vancouver port

Fentanyl has been linked to a majority of drug-related deaths over the past five years
A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) patch is seen on an officer in Calgary, Alberta. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Canadian border officials say that they stopped a large amount of a key substance that could have been used to create two billion doses of illicit fentanyl from reaching B.C. streets.

On July 16, the CBSA investigated a marine container declared to be containing household goods as it entered Metro Vancouver.

The container was instead filled with 1.5 tonnes of an unknown chemical substance, later identified as 4-piperidone, a key ingredient in illicit fentanyl.

The CBSA estimates that the amount of this chemical would be enough to produce over two billion doses of fentanyl, a street drug that has wreaked havoc in B.C., killing more than 5,000 people since 2016.

Since 2017, over 80 per cent of illicit drug-related deaths annually involved street-level versions of fentanyl mixed into other hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

“The opioid crisis has affected Canadians across the country, but nowhere more so than here in British Columbia,” CBSA Pacific Region Director Nina Patel said.

Many fentanyl-related deaths are caused by lethal doses of the substance being mixed in with other street drugs, which are then consumed by injection, inhalation or consumption.


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