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

Just Posted

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Vancouver Island artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Island MLA calls for cash injection for struggling tourism sector

Michelle Stilwell also pushing for moratorium on commercial evictions

Cobble Hill man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

PQBeat: Qualicum Beach musician, lawyer Phil Dwyer

Juno Award winner talks music legends, ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ and more

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools set to reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Three weekly direct flights from Port Hardy to Vancouver starting June 1

Direct between Bella Bella and Vancouver not resuming at this time

Comox Valley river guardians keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Tsolum River Restoration Society memberss say young fish get stranded in the most unlikely places

Youth riding high after Sidney re-opens skate park

Skate park, tennis courts, volleyball court and multi-use court proved popular on the weekend

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach man stages concerts for charity out of his garage

Larry MacDougall says reception from neighbours has been heartening

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Most Read