The head of the RCMP unit responsible for combating organized crime said Canada is not only a significant producer of fentanyl, but also an exporter.
Organized crime groups in Canada use precursor chemicals to manufacture deadly drugs both for the domestic market and for sale overseas, Matthew Beltran said in an interview with CBC. the house Broadcast on Saturday.
“Sadly, Canada is a producer of fentanyl and synthetic opioids. We’re not only a producer, we’re an exporter,” Bertrand told host Katherine Cullen.
Bertrand, RCMP federal police chief superintendent of serious organized crime and border security, said Canada has a problem with fentanyl imports, but it’s domestic production that police are most concerned about at the moment. Ta. He added that the fact that Canadian gangs are exporting fentanyl means either there is an oversupply in the Canadian market or there is a more lucrative market overseas.
the house12:03RCMP sheds light on Canada’s illegal drug trade
“Our collaborative effort in Canadian law enforcement is to address domestic production, because it’s important,” he said.
The toxic drug crisis kills an average of 21 people every day in Canada. Most of those deaths involve fentanyl. When I visited Thunder Bay, Ontario earlier this year, of House He told residents about the prevalence of gangs in the city and the lucrative domestic market there.
Bertrand said most of the more than 600 organized crime groups investigated by the RCMP’s Criminal Intelligence Unit are involved in drug trafficking.
“Twenty-one percent of those groups are involved in substances that are responsible for the overdose crisis we are currently facing,” he added.
federal government New regulations recently issued To classify certain chemicals needed to manufacture fentanyl as formal precursors. This regulation allows law enforcement agencies to take action against the illegal use, importation, and distribution of these key ingredients. The United States and Canada also agreed earlier this year to strengthen their cross-border partnership on drug trafficking.
Bertrand said cooperation is key to fighting back against fentanyl trafficking.
Bertrand cited Australia and New Zealand as known destinations for Canadian-made fentanyl.
He said some Asian countries source the key ingredients for Canadian-made fentanyl through South American countries and the United States.
a law enforcement roundtable He noted a tenfold increase in precursor chemicals seized by Canada Border Services Agency in 2021 and said most of the chemicals are coming from China and Hong Kong.
In October, the United States announced sanctions and charges against a number of Chinese individuals and companies for being responsible for the illegal distribution of fentanyl in the United States.
“We know that this global fentanyl supply chain that ends in the death of an American often begins with chemical companies in China,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In a recent meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, The two agreed to cooperate once again. The crackdown on fentanyl had been suspended for several years, but
China and Canada agreed in 2016 to cooperate in interdicting the distribution of fentanyl.
“As you know, the current political situation between the two countries is somewhat tense. I think you could say it’s complicated,” Beltran said.
He added that China has RCMP liaison officers on the ground working on the issue, and that previous restrictions “had a significant positive impact on the drug situation.”
But efforts to disrupt the fentanyl supply chain face challenges, he said.
“One of the challenges is that many of these precursors are not illegal,” he says.
Bertrand said combating fentanyl production in Canada is just one aspect of efforts to reduce overdose deaths.
“The opioid crisis is more than a law enforcement issue,” he said.
“I think we need to look at demand and what we can do to ensure that individuals don’t seek out these substances. [that] They understand how dangerous it is and I would say how deadly they are. ”