The crew of the Esquimalt-based frigate HMCS Regina has made a second large drug bust within a month.
On April 15, 2019, the warship seized just over 3,000 kilograms of hash from a fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean near the coast of Yemen. The crew had spotted a suspicious vessel, known locally as a “dhow.” According to Maj. Mark Gough of Maritime Forces Atlantic, the unregistered vessel didn’t respond when it was hailed.
Suspicious vessels can be investigated further if they don’t respond or intelligence is received from the military chain of command regarding the vessel.
The Naval Tactical Operations Group was then deployed and 150 bags containing hash were seized, transferred to HMCS Regina and destroyed.
“Had HMCS Regina not intervened, the hashish would have been sold locally, or in other markets, with the profits benefitting organized crime networks and terrorist organizations, further de-stabilizing regional countries,” Canadian Armed Forces Operations wrote on their Facebook page.
HMCS Regina continues to disrupt terrorism funding with a 2nd illegal narcotic seizure in the Indian Ocean during…
On April 6, the HMCS Regina seized more than 2.5 tonnes of hashish from a dhow off the coast of Oman. Maj. Gough said the area where the HMCS Regina is deployed is known as the “hash highway, a drug trafficking route linking southwest Asia, including Afghanistan to eastern Africa.
Gough said when he spoke to the crew, they were proud about taking the narcotics off the streets.
HMCS Regina is operating in the Indian Ocean as part of the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150). CTF 150 is a task force under Combined Maritime Forces, a naval coalition of 33 nations.
CTF 150 works to deter and deny terrorist organizations from using the high seas for smuggling weapons, illicit cargo, and narcotics, while ensuring the safe passage of merchant ships.