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

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Saanich honours lifetime of conservation efforts

Mary Haig-Brown wins environmental award for 40 years of extensive volunteer work

Sidney lowers flag to half mast in honour of former fire chief

Mel Baldwin died June 21 at the age of 83; served Sidney Fire for 46 years

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read