Esquimalt-based HMCS Regina seized over three tonnes of hashish from a dhow off the coast of Oman on Monday. This is the ship’s second drug bust as part of Operation ARTEMIS. (Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook)

Esquimalt-based HMCS Regina seizes three tonnes of hashish in second drug bust

Ship seizes and destroys drugs off coast of Oman

An Esquimalt-based ship made its second drug bust this month after seizing more than three tonnes of hashish in the Indian Ocean.

On Monday, HMCS Regina crews spotted a suspicious fishing vessel, known as a “dhow,” off the coast of Oman. It was in an area known as the hash highway.

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 NTOG team found 150 bags of hashish — over three tonnes worth — on the dhow and the narcotics were transferred to HMCS Regina and subsequently destroyed.

READ MORE: Esquimalt-based HMCS Regina seizes 2.5 tonnes of hashish in Indian Ocean

According to a Facebook post on the Canadian Armed Forces Operations page, had HMCS Regina not intervened, the hashish would have been sold locally or in other markets. The profits would benefit organized crime networks and terrorist organizations.

On April 6, the same ship seized more than 2.5 tonnes of hashish from a dhow off the coast of Oman.

The HMCS Regina is deployed in the Indian Ocean as part of the Canadian Armed Forces ongoing contribution to counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in Middle Eastern and East African waters, also known as Operation ARTEMIS.

The warship is operating in the region as part of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 15o) which is currently being led by Pakistan. CTF 150 is a task force under the Combined Maritime Forces, which is a naval coalition of 33 nations.

READ MORE: Three navy ships deploy from CFB Esquimalt Wednesday

The task force works primarily to stop terrorist organizations from smuggling weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics, while protecting merchant shops.

This week’s seizure is the second one for HMCS Regina since it joined Operation ARTEMIS at the end of March.

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

Victoria councillors propose waiving parkade fees to support essential workers

Motion coming to committee of the whole for consideration

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

Wheelchair user asks people to leave space on sidewalks to socially distance

Wendy Cox says many people are not stepping off the sidewalk to allow her space

COVID-19: Victoria moves homeless into 35 hotel rooms across the city

Mayor pleads with residents to stay inside during pandemic

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read