Canadian warship makes record-setting heroin seizure on Arabian Sea


VICTORIA – A Canadian warship has seized an estimated $ 23 million in heroin and methamphetamine off the coast of Oman, a record-setting haul for the multinational Joint Marine Forces Alliance established in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks .

Victoria-based frigate HMCS Calgary intercepted two vessels on 23 and 24 April on suspicion of smuggling of drugs over the Arabian Sea.

A search of the first vessel extracted 1,286 kg of heroin – the most seized by a coalition vessel – while the search for the second boat yielded 360 kg of methamphetamine, according to a statement by the United Maritime Forces.

The US-led maritime coalition says the combined value of the drugs is more than $ 23.2 million, adding that the profits of drug trafficking in the region are often used to finance terrorism.

The Royal Canadian Navy assumed control of the operations of the Joint Maritime Forces on the Arabian Sea, known as the Joint Task Force 150, on 27 January. In that time, navies participated from Europe, Australia, the United States, and the Middle East. More than a dozen successful anti-trafficking operations.

Master Sailor John Lesson

“I am speaking for everyone on HMCS Calgary, when I say that it looks great that two changes have been made to our operation so quickly,” said Cmdr. Mark Donahue, the commanding officer of Calgary, who began operations in the area on 15 April.

“It is fantastic to see that pay off and to know that we are contributing to the disruption of a revenue stream that is being used to fund terrorism,” Dohanu said.

The HMCS is joined on deployment by approximately 50 members of the Calgary Royal Canadian Air Force and CP-140 long-range patrol aircraft.

The Combined Maritime Forces Partnership was established in February 2002 as a temporary alliance in response to the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It has grown to include counter-drug-trafficking and commercial shipping security operations.

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