HMCS Toronto makes history with massive narcotics haul

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Navy News / April 2, 2013

HMCS Toronto successfully disrupted a massive narcotics shipment in the Indian Ocean as part of counter-terrorism operations with Combined Task Force 150.

On Friday March 29, HMCS Toronto's naval boarding party searched a suspect vessel as part of ongoing maritime security operations. During this inspection, the boarding team recovered approximately 500 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value of more than $100 million. The narcotics were confiscated without incident and will be destroyed.

"HMCS Toronto has recovered one of the largest heroin seizures on the high seas," said the Honourable Peter MacKay. "This massive narcotics seizure is one example of how our Canadian Armed Forces members deployed in Canada and around the world are making a difference in international security and stability by denying criminals, and possibly terrorists, their source of funding."

"The actions of HMCS Toronto and her crew demonstrate that Canada is playing an instrumental role in keeping illicit drugs off Canadian streets," said the Honorable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. "We continue to strengthen ties with allies, confront transnational organized crime, and keep drugs away from Canadian shores."

"This is the largest maritime interception of narcotics in the Combined Maritime Forces area of operations and one of the largest heroin seizures in the maritime environment." HMCS Toronto's commanding officer, Commander David Patchell, stressed the impact this find will have on the international community. "This seizure will have a sweeping
impact on these organizations at all levels and demonstrates Canada's commitment to our allies and to ensuring the seas are used for legitimate purposes. It keeps the drugs off the streets and out of the hands of criminals, but it also has a massive impact on the finances of international terrorist organizations."

As one of 16 Canadian Armed Forces missions currently deployed around the world, HMCS Toronto is deployed on Operation Artemis, Canada's contribution to Combined Task Force 150, combating terrorism in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.