Cana­dian War­ship Dis­rupts Ter­ror­ism Ac­tiv­i­ties in the Ara­bian Sea

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HMCS Toronto suc­cess­fully dis­rupted her fifth – and by far the largest – nar­cotics ship­ment since March of this year as part of on­go­ing counter-ter­ror­ism op­er­a­tions in the Ara­bian Sea.

Dur­ing the search and in­spec­tion of a ves­sel by the ship’s naval board­ing team on May 30th, Toronto’s crew re­cov­ered ap­prox­i­mately 6 tonnes of hashish. The nar­cotics were re­cov­ered with­out in­ci­dent and will be de­stroyed.

This marks the largest hashish seizure in Com­bined Mar­itime Forces his­tory. Ear­lier this spring, HMCS Toronto also seized one of the largest amounts of heroin on the seas. To date, HMCS Toronto has re­cov­ered roughly 7.3 tonnes of nar­cotics, rep­re­sent­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars worth of drugs at street value. On March 29, a mas­sive nar­cotics ship­ment in the In­dian Ocean was dis­rupted when the ship’s naval board­ing team re­cov­ered ap­prox­i­mately 500 kilo­grams of heroin. In ad­di­tion, her crew re­cov­ered 317 kilo­grams of heroin on May 6, 195 kilo­grams of heroin on May 10, and ap­prox­i­mately 300 kilo­grams of heroin on May 23.

“Our com­mon goal of mar­itime se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity can only be achieved by con­tin­ued co­op­er­a­tion and in­for­ma­tion shar­ing be­tween our al­lied forces,” said Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral Stuart Beare, Com­man­der, Cana­dian Joint Op­er­a­tions Com­mand. “By com­bin­ing ac­cu­rate in­tel­li­gence, care­ful ob­ser­va­tion, and mon­i­tor­ing, with the ex­pe­ri­ence de­vel­oped by Toronto's crew over the course of her de­ploy­ment, and with the knowl­edge and co­op­er­a­tion of our al­lies and part­ners, we are see­ing great suc­cess. Toronto and our mis­sion part­ners can be jus­ti­fi­ably proud of what she has achieved."

Nar­cotics smug­gling in the Ara­bian Sea and sur­round­ing re­gion is a rec­og­nized source of fund­ing for ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions. Com­bined Mar­itime Forces and Com­bined Task Force 150 have been ac­tively build­ing links and work­ing in close co­op­er­a­tion with lo­cal, re­gional, and in­ter­na­tional law en­force­ment agen­cies in the Mid­dle East, en­abling them to iden­tify po­ten­tial of­fend­ers at sea.

“I am ex­tremely proud of the high level of pro­fi­ciency and tenac­ity that my crew has shown on this de­ploy­ment. The out­stand­ing work of all on­board has con­trib­uted to th­ese record nar­cotics seizures,” said Com­man­der Jeff Hamil­ton, Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer of HMCS Toronto. “Toronto con­tin­ues to op­er­ate with our Com­bined Task Force 150 part­ners to com­bat ter­ror­ism at all lev­els. Ev­ery dol­lar we deny th­ese ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions works to­wards mak­ing our world a safer place.”

Bales of hashish are stacked on the quar­ter­deck of HMCS TORONTO in prepa­ra­tion for dis­posal in the North Ara­bian Sea on May 30, 2013 dur­ing

Op­er­a­tion ARTEMIS.

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