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

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

North Saanich man fears tougher moorage policies could cost him his home

Stewart Jackson has been living on a boat off Lillian Hoffar Park for about four years

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

Sidney dogs lose a beloved companion

Dozens gathered in Beacon Park to remember Sidney’s ‘dog whisperer’

Petition calls for suspension of Victoria councillor Ben Isitt

Isitt says petition ‘does not provide a reliable barometer of public opinion’

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read