On December 18, HMCS Toronto (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship) successfully prevented a narcotics shipment during a patrol in the Arabian Sea region, within the framework of Operation ARTEMIS.
During a recent boarding off the east coast of Africa, HMCS Toronto discovered 506 bags of heroin weighing more than 538 kilograms. The illicit narcotics were then catalogued and later disposed of, thus ensuring they would not reach their intended recipients.
This seizure marks the largest heroin seizure in the history of Combined Maritime Forces operations.
“For the second time since departing on their current operation, HMCS Toronto has made CMF history with this latest narcotics disruption,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “Solidarity with our coalition partners to promote security, stability and prosperity, in this area, remains at the forefront of our priorities, as the recent monumental accomplishment made by HMCS Toronto can attest.”
HMCS Toronto contributes to maritime security in the region by deterring and denying terrorist organizations the use of merchant shipping lanes for smuggling weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics while ensuring the safe passage of merchant ships in some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. To date, HMCS Toronto has recovered approximately 8.22 metric tonnes of narcotics.
“Today’s long and physically demanding boarding culminated in a positive outcome with the discovery of illicit narcotics,” said the Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto, Commander Matthew Bowen. “The dedication and diligence of HMCS Toronto’s ship’s company and naval boarding party are what have enabled success for our multinational coalition.”
HMCS Toronto is currently deployed with 262 crew members, along with CH-124 Sea King helicopter and uninhabited aerial vehicle detachments on Operation ARTEMIS. HMCS Toronto is part of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a multinational maritime task force combating terrorism across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.
Press Release, December 23, 2013; Image: Wikimedia