CALGARY Police on Thursday announced that Kasimir Tyabji, 27, of Calgary was arrested and charged with one count of importing a controlled substance after a drug bust. He remains in custody and is scheduled to next appear in court on August 17.
[UPDATE: Tyabji appeared in a Calgary court by closed circuit television on Monday (August 17). His next court appearance is on September 16. He will remain in custody.]
He is the son of former MLA Judi Tyabji who married former B.C. Leader of the Opposition Gordon Wilson. Global BC got a photo of the accused from his Instagram account, which also included photos of himself with Judi Tyabji. CBC reported that Wilson told them that neither he nor his wife would be commenting on the arrest.
Interestingly, namesdatabase.com lists one “Kasimir Tora Tyabji Sandana. 25-30 years old. Max Cameron Secondary School 2005. Powell River, British Columbia, Canada.” CBC noted: “Tyabji did have a son named Kasimir, but lost custody of her three children in 1994 to her ex-husband Kim Sandana.”
Calgary Police said in a press release that on July 14, a Border Services Officer at the Canadian Border Services Agency’s Vancouver International Mail Centre intercepted a parcel declared as a “muffler” that was destined for a Calgary resident. As the officer was conducting an examination of the parcel, an unknown white powder was found and the officer suspected it to be fentanyl.
The officer sent a sample of the unknown substance to the CBSA Laboratory, which confirmed her suspicion and CBSA engaged the support of the RCMP to further the investigation. The RCMP then began working with Calgary Police Service and on July 22, a warrant was executed on a Calgary residence in the 2400 block of 14 Street S.W., resulting in one arrest. Through the investigation, 122 grams of fentanyl was seized with an estimated value of $348,000.
Calgary Police said that the fentanyl seizure is one of many that have occurred in 2015. So far this year, They have had 34 incidents involving fentanyl seizures. This compares to only 12 Calgary Police incidents in which fentanyl was located during 2014.
“The increase in demand and resulting increase in availability of this toxic drug within our community is greatly concerning,” said Staff-Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Drug Unit. “We are now seeing this extremely harmful drug being used in combination with other drugs, such as heroin, caffeine and xylazine.”
Tragically, fatalities associated with fentanyl use are also increasing. In Alberta, from January 1 through June 30, there were 145 deaths in which fentanyl was detected and implicated. Forty-five of those deaths were in Alberta Health Services’ Calgary Zone. By comparison, there were approximately 120 deaths associated with fentanyl in Alberta in 2014.
AHS Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Nicholas Etches, said: “Whether you’re a recreational user popping a pill, or an entrenched user shooting heroin: you won’t see, smell or taste fentanyl, but, it could very easily kill you.
“You can’t rely on your dealer to keep you safe. Don’t be fooled. Fentanyl is here and it’s killing Albertans. If you’re a user, we want you to get the facts and get Naloxone.”
It is believed powdered fentanyl is being imported from China through online sales.
“The RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime programs in British Columbia and Alberta, working with municipal partners such as CPS and federal enforcement partners, have made significant seizures of fentanyl since 2010. The RCMP nationwide has increasingly been seizing fentanyl in their drug investigations in 2015,” said Superintendent Yvon de Champlain, Officer-in-Charge of Alberta RCMP Integration and Special Support Services.
“This trend is alarming to all law enforcement in Canada, and locally, it has led to a spike in fentanyl-related overdoses in British Columbia and Alberta. Enforcement efforts such as illustrated today, together with public health initiatives are a critical part of controlling and eliminating this threat to the health of Canadians.”
Anyone with information about fentanyl in Calgary is encouraged to call the CPS Drug Tip Line at 403-428-8100, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are using drugs, or are with someone who has used drugs, and you or they have any of these symptoms, call 911:
* breathing is slow or not breathing at all
* nails and / or lips are blue
* choking or throwing up
* making gurgling sounds
* skin is cold and clammy
For more information on fentanyl, overdose prevention, and Naloxone, visit www.drugsfool.ca or www.stopODs.ca.
If you are concerned about your own drug use, the drug use of a friend or loved one, or would simply like more information on drug and alcohol use, you can also contact the AHS Addiction & Mental Health 24 Hour Helpline at 1-866-332-2322.