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)

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

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Lake Country hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

A water outage to fix a hydrant valve is scheduled for Lake Country on Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (District of Lake Country image)
Lake Country water outage planned

Affects 20 properties on Seaton Road between Read Road and Chase Road from 9-2 Tuesday, Jan. 26

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read