Thursday, August 26, 2010

Large Opium Operation Found In British Columbia

A huge number of opium poppy plants have been discovered by police in British Columbia, in what authorities are calling the largest single catch of its kind in Canada.

The plants were found in Chilliwack, a city in a rural area 120 kilometers east of Vancouver.

Chilliwack RCMP drug unit was executing a search warrant on Monday when they discovered a field, seven-acres in size, with 60,000 opium poppies, police said in a statement.

Two men, who were tending the fields at the time of the search, were arrested. Police are recommending the men be charged with production of a controlled substance, and possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance.

The men have been released pending a court date of December 14. Police say the two suspects are not the owners of the property, nor were they known to police.

The investigation into the drug operation and those responsible for it continues.

Although heroin, codeine and morphine can all be refined from the opium poppy, police believe these plants were being grown in order to produce doda - a fine powder often taken with tea or hot water that produces a quick high, followed by a sense of well-being.

According to the RCMP, the use of doda is a new trend in opium consumption that appears to be primarily localized within certain South Asian communities.

A local farmer has been contracted to destroy the poppies.