Abbotsford Police seize two bags of doda in field

More than 30 pounds of what is believed to be the substance was found near the border.

This photo shows doda powder that was seized during a 2009 bust by Surrey RCMP.

This photo shows doda powder that was seized during a 2009 bust by Surrey RCMP.

Abbotsford Police found two bags containing what was suspected to be more than 30 pounds of doda on Thursday morning in a field.

Const. Ian MacDonald said local police received a call from U.S. border patrol at about 11:30 a.m., indicating that they had seen two people dropping the bags in a field on 0 Avenue and Defehr Road.

Police retrieved the bags and have submitted the substance for examination.

MacDonald said 30 pounds is a considerable amount of doda.

“If you could imagine really fine sawdust, that’s what it looks like,” he said.

He said the concern to police is the same as with any street drug.

“You don’t know what the potency is … You can’t tell by looking at,” he said.

U.S. border patrol arrested a man and a woman on their side of the border, and the two have been detained for an immigration-related investigation, MacDonald said.

Doda is a derivative of opium that is made from ground poppy pods and stems and is primarily used by the South Asian population. The fine powder is mostly commonly consumed in tea or hot water.

The last big bust in Abbotsford that involved doda occurred in September 2011, when a police investigation was launched after concerns about the drug being sold in the city.

Two men were arrested and faced charges of drug trafficking.

The biggest bust of its kind in Canada took place in August 2010, when two men – one of them from Abbotsford – were arrested in a seven-acre poppy field in Chiliwack, where 60,000 plants were being grown.

Tehal Singh Bath, 32, of Abbotsford and Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal, 30, of Mission both pleaded guilty earlier this year to production and possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking.

The pair have not yet been sentenced.