OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 11, 2013) - On May 10, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto successfully disrupted her third narcotics shipment in six weeks, and second this week, as part of ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean.
During the search and inspection of a vessel by the ship's naval boarding team, Toronto's crew recovered approximately 195 kilograms of heroin. The narcotics were recovered without incident and will be destroyed. To date, HMCS Toronto has interdicted more than a ton of narcotics. On March 29, a massive narcotics shipment in the Indian Ocean was disrupted when her naval boarding team recovered approximately 500 kilograms of heroin. Earlier this week, her crew recovered another 317 kilograms of heroin, and a small amount of hashish.
"I am extremely proud of HMCS Toronto and her crew. Their efforts over the last six weeks to detect, deter, and protect the high seas from terrorist activity have been a significant contribution to international efforts to combat terrorism," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "Their continued success deters and denies terrorists the use of the maritime environment, and contributes to safeguarding Canada and Canadians"
Narcotics smuggling in the Indian Ocean and surrounding region is a recognized source of funding for terrorist organizations. By interrupting these activities, coalition ships are denying financial resources to extremist groups, and helping to keep drugs off of Canada's streets.
"The success of this operation demonstrates the professionalism and tenacity of Toronto's crew," said Commander Jeff Hamilton, Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto. "Our operations are achieving effects by helping to disrupt terrorist networks, and to enhance coordinated, multinational efforts to understand and map the way these groups resource themselves. Our presence in the region also gives our country the flexibility and capability to respond quickly to emerging crises in the region."
HMCS Toronto is deployed on Operation Artemis, Canada's contribution to Combined Task Force 150, a multinational maritime task force combating terrorism across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Oman. As part of this multinational force, Toronto works alongside coalition partners to promote security, stability, and prosperity in an area that spans over two million square miles, and encompasses some of the world's most important shipping routes connecting the Far East to Africa, Europe, and North America. The region hosts over 23,000 shipping movements per year, and Combined Task Force 150 is one of three task forces commanded by Combined Maritime Forces, a naval partnership composed of 28 nations.
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