Record seizure of ecstasy precursor at Canadian Vancouver port
Canada Border Services Agents at the Port of Vancouver seized more than four tons of an illegal chemical used to manufacture the psychoactive drug ecstasy.
The illegal chemical was discovered Monday in a container shipped from China that was identified by the marine targeting unit of the CBSA as 'high-risk.' Agents inspecting the container contents discovered 78 barrels described in shipping documents as containing sodium hydroxide, also known as lye.
Analysis revealed the barrels actually contained 8,150 pounds of the ecstasy precursor chemical, methylenedioxy-phenyl-2-propanone, or MDP2P. The chemical is used to manufacture MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy.
The seizure is a Canadian record for MDP2P, which is illegal to possess without certain government clearances and approvals. In the United States, the chemical is on the Drug Enforcement Administration watch list.
Ironically, large shipments of lye, while legal to possess or purchase, often raises the interest of customs officials because the chemical is required in the manufacturing process for methamphetamine.
Investigators for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the MDP2P shipment is likely related to 'organized crime and criminal groups.'