Opium in tennis balls, record cocaine seizure keep border officers busy in Alberta in 2017 | CBC NewsAction.News ABC Action News Santa Barbara Calgary WestNet-HD Weather Traffic

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Updated: 16th October 2018 01:46

Opium in tennis balls, record cocaine seizure keep border officers busy in Alberta in 2017

The Canada Border Services Agency is highlighting some of the most notable incidents from its southern Alberta operations this year, including the discovery of tennis balls stuffed with opium.

CBSA officers also seized 3 shipments of precursor chemical to date rape drug GHB

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has highlighted several of its most significant seizures during 2017, including opium found in tennis balls, a record amount of cocaine and more than 50 firearms. (CBSA)

The Canada Border Services Agency is highlighting some of the most notable incidents from its southern Alberta operations this year, including the confiscation of 50 firearms, the discovery of tennis balls stuffed with opium and the seizure of almost 100 kilograms of cocaine.

CBSA officers at the Coutts border crossing found 84 bricks of suspected cocaine weighing 99.5 kilograms on Dec. 2. The bricks were hidden in a commercial truck.

"This was the largest suspected cocaine seizure recorded by the CBSA in Alberta," the agency said in a release issued Wednesday.

"Had the 99.5 kilograms seized been street-ready, it would have been enough for over 100,000 hits."

Officers at Chief Mountain crossing on Highway 6 found four handguns in a pickup truck on July 3, netting their owner a $4,000-penalty to get his vehicle returned. The guns were destroyed.

On April 7, officers seized seven guns at Coutts. The traveller trying to bring them into Canada received a $15,000 court-imposed fine.

In September, officers at the Calgary International Airport found 14 tennis balls filled with 3.3 kilograms of suspected opium.

"Upon examination of the traveller's belongings, officers noted inconsistencies with the tennis balls, and upon peeling back the outer layer observed a black, tar-like substance concealed inside," the CBSA said.

The traveller and the tennis balls were turned over to the RCMP.

In October, officers at the air cargo operations intercepted three separate shipments of a clear, colourless, odourless liquid that turned out to be Gamma-butyrolactone, or GBL, a precursor chemical used to make the date rape drug, gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

More than 17 litres of GBL were seized, enough to make 29,000 doses of GHB.

CBSA officers at the Calgary airport are on track to process more than 2.5 million travellers in 2017, and their colleagues at the southern Alberta crossings will have processed in excess of one million this year.

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