Bath Salts seizure and arrests
Oct 24, 2013 / 1:39 pm
The RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC), along with Canada Border Services Agency, held a joint news conference in Kelowna this morning (Thursday) to announce a "significant" seizure of the synthetic drug known as ‘Bath Salts’.
This new type of drug has recently made an impact in British Columbia, and law enforcement officials announced they seized 16 kilograms of the drug last month.
The seizure took place in Vancouver when Canadian Border Service Agency officials seized three packages mailed from China and destined for a business address in West Kelowna.
Two women associated with the West Kelowna address were arrested on Sept. 19, but they cannot be named as charges have yet to be filed.
CBSA spokesperson, Heather Ardiel, says the investigation into the importation of the drug began Aug. 23 when officers at the International Mail Centre in Vancouver intercepted a parcel.
"The parcel, declared as sodium chloride, or table salt, was examined by border services officers," says Heather Ardiel, spokesperson for CBSA.
"The light brown, crystal substance was wrapped in plastic then commercially sealed in foil pouches. It was field tested by our officers with a positive result for amphetamines."
Two more packages, addressed to the same businesses in West Kelowna, were intercepted Aug. 26.
RCMP Federal Media Relations Officer, Sgt. Peter Thiessen, says the women have been arrested and processed and charges are pending.
He says prior to the arrest, "Bath Salts" were primarily seen in the UK and the United States with small amounts recovered in the Maritimes and Ontario.
Ardiel says amphetamines are seized at the border on a regular basis - in 2012 there were 149 such seizures across the country including 52 at the Vancouver Mail Centre.
"Some of them would have been in that format but I don't have the numbers to say how many of those 149 amphetamine seizures were actually Bath Salts," says Ardiel.
"I can tell you this was the largest interception going to a single importer."
Ardiel says there were a number of indicators that officers noticed independently of each in deeming the packages as being suspicious.
"They had the use of an X-Ray and they noticed anomalies in the E-ray that caused them to refer the parcel for further examination," says Ardiel.
"When they were able to see it was a large quantity of a powder - it was declared as table salt but it didn't look like or smell like sodium chloride. They persisted with the field tests and subsequently the lab tests which confirmed their instincts."
Thiessen wouldn't go into details as to the street value of the drugs seized or potentially how many doses could be derived, saying only the seizure was 'significant.'
"This is a new type of amphetamine, a new type of drug that seems to be making its way into Canada. Any illegal drug coming into the country and into British Columbia is a concern,"says Thiessen.
"This one appears to be growing in the volume we are seeing here today. It is a focus of our Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit within our federal policing branch in the province."
Bath Salts are made from a potentially lethal combination of amphetamine type stimulants and other unknown ingredients.
"This drug is very dangerous. Users of this particular drug can experience elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, chest pains and psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, psychotic and violent behaviour," says Thiessen.
"They are also highly addictive and users can easily overdose."
He says the seized drugs could easily have been destined for the streets of the Okanagan, BC or across the country.
Read more Kelowna News
City of Kelowna
Kelowna Discussion Forum
Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Central Okanagan Regional District
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
Okanagan Regional Library
- All aboard the Santa Sleigh Bus Dec 9
- FortisBC offers Union binding arbitration Dec 9
- Glenmore food drive tonight Dec 9
- Garage fire quickly knocked down Dec 9
- Thrift store celebrates 10 years strong Dec 9
- Big White Sweater Ball Dec 9
- Christmas display going up at Kerry Park Dec 9
- Castanet's Week in Review Dec 8
- Kelowna teens 'write for rights' Dec 8
- Paper carrier waits for crucial surgery Dec 8