Six-tonne hashish haul marks fifth drugs bust for Toronto

A Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warship recently seized her fifth -and largest – narcotics shipment in the Gulf of Aden.

HMCS Toronto intercepted and boarded a suspected smuggling vessel about 60 miles off the southern coast of Oman, and discovered almost six tonnes of hashish.

Bales of hashish are stacked on the quarterdeck of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) TORONTO in preparation for disposal

Bales of hashish are stacked on the quarterdeck of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) TORONTO in preparation for disposal

The Halifax-class frigate is currently working with CMF to promote stability and security in the Indian Ocean. She is attached to Combined Task Force 150, the CMF Task Force charged with countering terrorism-related and other illicit activity in the region – including narcotics smuggling, which is a known source of funding for terrorist organisations.

CMF and CTF 150 have been actively building links and working in close cooperation with local, regional, and international law enforcement agencies in the Middle East, enabling them to identify potential offenders at sea.

“I am extremely proud of the high level of proficiency and tenacity that my crew has shown on this deployment. The outstanding work of all onboard has contributed to these record narcotics seizures,” said Commander Jeff Hamilton, Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto. 

HMCS Toronto's boarding party approaches the suspect dhow

HMCS Toronto’s boarding party approaches the suspect dhow

“Toronto continues to operate with our CTF 150 partners to combat terrorism at all levels. Every dollar we deny these terrorist organizations works towards making our world a safer place.”

 Commodore Simon Ancona, Deputy Commander of CMF, said: “I would like to extend my wholehearted congratulations to the crew of HMCS Toronto.

“By intercepting these smugglers we keep narcotics off the streets, we keep money out of the hands of criminals, and we improve the quality of life for those affected by the drug trade.”

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national collective of like-minded nations, dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. CMF’s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all.
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