HMCS Regina crew poses with over 2,000 kilograms of narcotics seized from a dhow during Operation ARTEMIS in the Pacific Ocean on April 6, 2019. (Cpl. Stuart Evans/BORDEN Imaging Services)

Victoria-based HMCS Regina seizes 2.5 tonnes of hashish in Indian Ocean

Canadian ship seizes narcotics as part of Operation ARTEMIS

An Esquimalt-based ship seized more than 2.5 tonnes of hashish while deployed in the Indian Ocean. disrupting the trade of illegal narcotics according to the Department of National Defence

On April 6, HMCS Regina spotted a suspicious fishing vessel known as a dhow off the coast of Oman and stopped the boat to investigate further.

The ship deployed its Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) team, a dedicated Royal Canadian Navy unit that specializes in advanced boarding operations at sea.

The team searched the dhow and located 119 bags of hashish in the ice hold. The hashish was transferred to HMCS Regina and subsequently destroyed.

READ MORE: Three navy ships deploy from CFB Esquimalt Wednesday

“The seizure is a testament to the months of hard work HMCS Regina has conducted in preparation for our operational deployment,” said Cmdr. Jacob French, commanding officer for HMCS Regina. “I’m very proud of the professionalism of our NTOG team, as well as our entire ship’s company.”

French said the seizure “contributed to the disruption of the trade of illegal narcotics and in promoting a safer maritime environment in the region.”

This was part of Operation ARTEMIS, an ongoing contribution by the Canadian Armed Forces to counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in Middle Eastern and African waters.

This is the first seizure for HMCS Regina since it joined Operation ARTEMIS at the end of March.

ALSO READ: Base command changes hands at CFB Esquimalt

The warship is operating in the region as part of the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a task force under the Combined Maritime Forces, which is a naval coalition of 33 nations that promotes security and stability in Middle Eastern and East African Waters.

The task force works primarily to stop terrorist organizations from smuggling weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics, while protecting merchant shops.

“Had CTF 150 not intervened, the hashish would have been sold locally, or in other markets, with the profits benefiting organized crime networks and terrorist organizations,” said commodore Darren Garnier, a Royal Canadian Navy commander with CTF 150.

HMCS Regina departed for a seven-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions on Feb. 6. It was accompanied by the Asterix, a replenishing ship filled with fuel and supplies, as well as a Cyclone helicopter from the maritime helicopter squadron task force. This is the first deployment for the Cyclone unit.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

After energy pledge, Kootenay leaders roll up sleeves to hammer out details

Meeting this week of local governments to hammer out details of 100-per-cent renewable pledge

Low Lions Club membership could lead to event cancellations

The club’s Canada Day pancake breakfast may be scrapped

RDCK sets deadline for Nelson to agree to compost plan

Mayor John Dooley said the timeline request is unreasonable

Selkirk College valedictorians set for Class of 2019 send-off

Patrick Zubick and Emma Cuell are this year’s valedictorians

Rossland moves forward on single-use plastic bag ban bylaw

Bylaw given first reading at last council meeting

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

Angel Flight East Kootenay will fly medical patients to Kelowna or Vancouver

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Family dog stolen from Kootenay backyard

RCMP appealing for information on pregnant Karelian bear dog missing from Elko, B.C.

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Most Read