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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Photographer John Domovich: ‘It blew me away when I first observed it’

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

COVID-19: City of Parksville announces gradual re-opening plan

Sports courts and playgrounds to open June 5

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

RCMP: Parksville cyclist hurt after being clipped by passing vehicle

59-year-old man suffered minor injuries; driver failed to stop

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read