Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina has seized over 130kg of high-grade heroin off the coast of Tanzania.
The illicit narcotics were seized after HMCS Regina intercepted and boarded a suspect dhow approximately 100 nautical miles east of Zanzibar Island, while under the command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.
HMCS Regina’s embarked ‘Sea King’ helicopter initially observed a suspect dhow in the Indian Ocean. As the dhow continued her westerly passage, bound for east Africa, HMCS Regina closed and boarded the vessel.
Crew from HMCS Regina transfer the seized heroin onboard HMCS Regina for further analysis prior to disposal.
An extensive search by HMCS Regina’s boarding party revealed the carefully concealed narcotics, which later tested positive for heroin. The narcotics were catalogued before samples were taken for further analysis and the remainder destroyed.
“This successful drug seizure is a result of the patience and perseverance displayed by the ship’s company of HMCS Regina,” said Commander Dan Charlebois, Commanding Officer of HMCS Regina.
“It is also a credit to our collective capability to work together with our CTF 150 partners, to respond in a timely and effective manner to threats to maritime security and commerce in the region.”
Commander of CTF 150, Commodore Daryl Bates, Royal Australian Navy, said: “The Royal Canadian Navy has again proven to be a highly motivated and effective power in the Combined Maritime Forces arsenal.
“I congratulate the crew in HMCS Regina, who have certainly earned this success. They have worked tirelessly since taking over from their sister ship, HMCS Toronto, in February.
“In conjunction with the recent efforts of warships from the French, United States and Australian Navies, the Canadian Navy continues to have a real impact on smuggling operations in this region.
“Countering narcotics smuggling continues to be one of our highest priorities, and we are working closely with regional partners to disrupt the activities of those who wish to use the maritime environment to move illicit cargo.
“Since January this year, over 1455kg of heroin bound for east Africa has been intercepted by CMF.”
CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Its mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements.
CMF is a multi-national naval partnership, 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.