On Thursday morning, Calgary Police Service (CPS) announced they made an arrest for allegedly trying to smuggle a package of fentanyl into Canada last month.
An investigation by the RCMP and the Alberta Health Services was prompted after a suspicious package coming from China and destined for Calgary was intercepted in Vancouver on July 14.
The white powder inside the package was brought in for testing and was confirmed to be fentanyl.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kasimir Tyabji is being charged with one count of importing a controlled substance. He remains in custody and is scheduled to next appear in court on Aug. 17, 2015.
The Calgary police said that fentanyl has been on a rise in 2015. So far this year, CPS has had 34 incidents involving fentanyl seizures. This compares to only 12 CPS incidents in which fentanyl was located during 2014.
“The increase in demand and resulting increase in availability of this toxic drug within our community is greatly concerning,” says Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Drug Unit. “We are now seeing this extremely harmful drug being used in combination with other drugs, such as heroin, caffeine and xylazine.”
“This trend is alarming to all law enforcement in Canada, and locally, it has led to a spike in fentanyl-related overdoses in British Columbia and Alberta,” said superintendent Yvon de Champlain.