According to the Canada Border Services Agency, nearly 39.4 kilograms of fentanyl and carfentanil were seized over a two year period.
The seizures could have potentially averted 20 million overdoses between May 2016 and June 2018.
The deadly opioid fentanyl is up to 100 times more powerful than medical-grade morphine, making it one of the most dangerous drugs on the black market. The quantity of two grains of salt could potentially kill an adult. Meanwhile, carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and about 4,000 times stronger than heroin.
According to official Government of Canada statistics, nearly 14,000 people have died from opioid-related deaths between January 2016 and June 2019. 80% of all overdose deaths in the country involved fentanyl or related drugs.
Western Canada was the most impacted region for overdose deaths.
A majority of fentanyl flowing into Canada is believed to originate in illicit labs in China. The Chinese government has recently taken steps to shut off the illicit supply of deadly synthetic opioids after receiving pressure from the U.S.
A Global News investigation found that a majority of the fentanyl distribution in British Columbia, which has been hardest hit by the drug, originates in the Chinese mainland.
“There are so many players we identified in B.C. But this is all directed from inside China. At the very top they are insulated. It’s government officials,” an unidentified international policing expert told Global News.