Police seize 3,500 doses of illegal date-rape drug

An RCMP raid on a North Vancouver home in January resulted in the seizure of 3,500 doses of the tranquilizer Rohypnol, also known as the date-rape drug.

"We had been under the impression, up till now, that there wasn't any Rohypnol (problem) in Canada," the media quoted Sgt. Chuck Doucette of the force's drug awareness unit as saying.

North Vancouver RCMP discovered the Rohypnol when they raided the home of a man they had arrested on a cocaine trafficking charge. During the search they discovered the date-rape drug along with crack cocaine, marijuana, hashish, two handguns, a loaded shotgun and more than $1 million in cash.

The North Vancouver seizure is believed to be the first major Rohypnol bust in Canada.

Police forces in Greater Vancouver have received some complaints from people who believe they have been drugged and sexually assaulted, but none of the complaints have ever been conclusively linked to Rohypnol.

Wayne Jeffrey, chief toxicologist with the RCMP in B.C., said he has seen many sexual assault cases in which other tranquilizers were used, but none involved Rohypnol.

The drug is a powerful sedative manufactured in Europe and Central and South America. It's illegal in both Canada and the United States.

The drug comes in the form of a white, odourless and tasteless pill. It's 10 times stronger than valium, can cause blackouts and reduces inhibitions and memory.

(Article reprinted from: Blueline Magazine: Canada's National Law Enforcement Magazine, March 1999, Page 34)

Page last update: 14 March 1999