Combined Maritime Forces Warship makes third drugs bust in six weeks

A warship attached to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has made another major drugs bust seizing 194kgs of heroin.

On May 10, HMCS Toronto successfully disrupted her third narcotics shipment in six weeks, and second this week, as part of ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean.

During the search and inspection of a vessel by the ship’s naval boarding team, HMCS Toronto’s crew recovered 194 kilograms of heroin. The narcotics were recovered without incident and destroyed. In the last 6 weeks, HMCS Toronto has interdicted more than a ton of narcotics. On March 29, a massive narcotics shipment in the Indian Ocean was disrupted when her naval boarding team recovered approximately 500 kilograms of heroin. Earlier this week, her crew recovered another 317 kilograms of heroin, and a small amount of hashish.

250miles SE of Mogadishu the Sea King of HMCS Toronto holds position over the suspected drugs dhow

250miles SE of Mogadishu the Sea King of HMCS Toronto holds position over the suspected drugs dhow

Narcotics smuggling in the Indian Ocean and surrounding region is a recognized source of funding for terrorist organizations. By interrupting these activities, coalition ships are denying financial resources to extremist groups, and helping to keep drugs off of the streets.

The 194kg haul of heroin which was seized and destroyed by the crew of HMCS Toronto

The 194kg haul of heroin which was seized and destroyed by the crew of HMCS Toronto

“The success of this operation demonstrates the professionalism and tenacity of Toronto’s crew,” said Commander Jeff Hamilton, Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto. “Our operations are achieving effects by helping to disrupt terrorist networks, and to enhance coordinated, multinational efforts to understand and map the way these groups resource themselves. Our presence in the region also gives our country the ability to assure allies and partners of our commitment to the security of these vital waterways.”

250 miles SE of Mogadishu, HMCS Toronto providing cover for the approaching boarding team.

250 miles SE of Mogadishu, HMCS Toronto providing cover for the approaching boarding team.

HMCS Toronto is deployed on Operation Artemis, Canada’s contribution to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, a multinational maritime task force combating terrorism across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Oman. As part of this multinational force, Toronto works alongside coalition partners to promote security, stability, and prosperity in an area that spans over two million square miles, and encompasses some of the world’s most important shipping routes connecting the Far East to Africa, Europe, and North America; the region hosts over 23,000 shipping movements per year.  CTF150 is one of three task forces commanded by Combined Maritime Forces, a naval partnership composed of 28 nations.

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national naval coalition, dedicated to promoting security and prosperity across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East. CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
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