Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 08, 2013 15:14 ET

Minister MacKay Recognizes Disruption of Significant Narcotics Shipment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Today the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, stood in the House of Commons to recognize the crew of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto who successfully disrupted another significant narcotics shipment in the Indian Ocean. The seizure occurred on May 6th, following a search of a vessel by the ship's naval boarding team.

During the inspection of the vessel, HMCS Toronto's naval boarding team recovered approximately 315 kilograms of heroin and a small amount of hashish. The narcotics will be destroyed.

"The seizure of 315 kilograms of heroin half a world away from Canadian shores is a demonstration of our government's resolve to assist in international actions and keep Canadian streets safe," said the Honourable Peter MacKay. "The actions of HMCS Toronto is a demonstration of the professionalism, leadership, and dedication of the Canadian Armed Forces,"

This is the second major drug interdiction for HMCS Toronto and her crew. On March 29, 2013, a massive narcotics shipment in the Indian Ocean was disrupted, when her naval boarding team recovered approximately 500 kilograms of heroin.

HMCS Toronto is operating as part of Coalition Task Force 150, a multinational task force that works to combat terrorism. As part of Combined Maritime Forces, HMCS Toronto is deployed to the region to promote security, stability and prosperity across the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, an area which encompasses some of the world's most important shipping lanes.

"This deployment clearly demonstrates the Canadian Armed Forces' capacity to support our allies and has given us an opportunity to operate within a responsive international force," said Lieutenant-General Stu Beare, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command. "HMCS Toronto's deployment has allowed our forces to execute a number of missions across a broad spectrum of operations, and partnering with like-minded nations provides us with an opportunity to exercise and enhance multilateral cooperation that further develops interoperability with partners and allies in the region."

HMCS Toronto is currently deployed on Operation Artemis, Canada's contribution to Coalition Task Force 150, combating terrorism in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. The ship's task is to detect, deter, and protect against terrorist activity by patrolling and conducting maritime security operations in her area of responsibility. HMCS Toronto's presence in the Arabian Sea also gives Canada the flexibility and capability to respond quickly to emerging crises in the region. Coalition Task Force 150is one of three task forces commanded by Combined Maritime Forces, involving 27 nations in the naval partnership.

Notes to editor / news director:

For more information, please contact Lieutenant-Commander Kelly Rozenberg-Payne, Canadian Joint Operations Command Public Affairs, at 613-993-6984.

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