Suspected heroin bust at Calgary airport signals drug's rise, officials say
Border officers found 6.7 kilograms hidden in luggage with false bottoms
Police in Calgary believe they have uncovered a sophisticated heroin smuggling operation following a major bust at the Calgary International Airport.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials found 6.7 kilograms of what’s believed to be heroin hidden beneath false bottoms of two pieces of luggage arriving on a flight from London last Friday.
A 44-year-old man was arrested by RCMP and faces charges of importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
“CBSA officers’ thorough and astute investigative and examination skills have once again played a significant part in dismantling an international drug smuggling scheme,” said CBSA regional director Lauren Delgaty in a release.
Police say the bust — the largest narcotics seizure last month in the Prairies — shows the use of heroin is on the rise.
There were 46 seizures of the drug last year in the city, compared with just three in 2008. Last year border officials at the Calgary airport seized almost 20 kilograms of suspected heroin, the CBSA said.
"Patients are reporting that heroin is much more readily available, and it's easier to get,” said Dr. Raju Hajela, who treats addicts in Calgary.
"Serious and organized crime in Canada is a multi-faceted and borderless problem impacting all Canadians, directly or indirectly, and this seizure illustrates this,” said RCMP Insp. GordSereda in a release.