HMCS Toronto seizes heroin during maritime operations

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto recently seized 154 bags of heroin in the Arabian Sea, weighing more than 180 kilograms whilst operating under the command of the Pakistan led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, one of three maritime task forces that make up Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

HMCS Toronto intercepted and boarded a suspected smuggling vessel approximately 500 nautical miles east of the Horn of Africa, and discovered the bags of heroin. The illicit narcotics were then catalogued and later destroyed, thus ensuring they would not reach their intended recipients.

HMCS Toronto’s helicopter intercepts suspicious vessel. Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

HMCS Toronto’s helicopter intercepts suspicious vessel.
Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

CMF is a multinational naval partnership of 29 nations, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

CTF 150’s mandate is about promoting the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment.  Maritime Security Operations deny international terrorists the use of the seas as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other illicit material.

Narcotics gathered together for cataloguing before disposure. Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

Narcotics gathered together for cataloguing before disposure.
Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

Commodore Asif Khaliq, Pakistan Navy, Commander CTF 150 said, “Our operations are achieving effects by helping to disrupt terrorists, narcotics and other illegal networks. This seizure is proof that coordinated efforts can have a significant impact on narcotics smuggling, thereby denying a source of funding to terrorist organisations.”

This drug seizure is HMCS Toronto’s seventh narcotics shipment disruption this year, totalling approximately 7.8 metric tonnes of narcotics, whilst operating under CTF 150.

Members of HMCS Toronto’s boarding team gather together the illegal narcotics. Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

Members of HMCS Toronto’s boarding team gather together the illegal narcotics.
Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

Commander Matthew Bowen, Royal Canadian Navy, Commanding Officer HMCS Toronto said, “I’m extremely proud of the work Toronto’s team, and all those on whom we rely for support, have done to achieve this success. A positive outcome like this, seizing and disposing of illegal narcotics whose sale would have funded extremist groups, is hugely satisfying for my ship’s company and for me.”

HMCS Toronto’s crime scene investigation team collating the evidence and preparing it for disposal.  Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

HMCS Toronto’s crime scene investigation team collating the evidence and preparing it for disposal. Photographed by Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Canadian Navy

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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