Canadian Ship, Planes Participate in Caribbean Drug Bust

A Canadian warship and two Aurora long-range patrol planes have returned to Nova Scotia after a counter-drug operation in the Caribbean.

The Defence Department says HMCS Toronto and two CP-140 aircraft were part of a U.S.-led task force that intercepted more than 1,650 kilograms of cocaine during its month-long deployment.

The mission marked the first time that a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment conducted operations from a Canadian navy ship.

The frigate was involved in surveillance, logistics and refuelling during the mission.

Canada has been part of multinational operations to combat drug smuggling in the Caribbean Basin and East Pacific since 2006.

– Article from The Toronto Star.

Canada’s Navy helps US Coast Guard arrest drug smugglers

by AFP

OTTAWA — In a “historic” joint operation, US Coast Guard officials paired with the Canadian navy to nab drug smugglers in the Caribbean, seizing 68 bales of cocaine in the past month, the military said Friday.

The 134-meter (440-feet) patrol frigate HMCS Toronto, with a complement of 225 sailors, as well as two Canadian Forces CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft took part in the counter-drug operation.

They are now en route back to Canada from the Caribbean Sea, officials said.

Over the past month, they provided surveillance, logistics and refueling capabilities to the US Coast Guard, helping to intercept approximately 1,650 kilograms (3,637 pounds) of cocaine with an estimated value of $33 million.

“This historic mission marked the first time that a US Coast Guard law enforcement detachment conducted operations from Canadian Navy ships,” said a statement.

“Our primary tasks have been to assist the US law enforcement authorities to locate, track, and intercept illegal activities,” said Commander Paul Forget, captain of HMCS Toronto.

In doing so, Defense Minister Peter MacKay said the sailors and aircrews helped “in keeping drugs off Canadian streets.”

“Our sailors and air personnel are a key component of international efforts to interdict cocaine destined for North America,” he said.

– Article from AFP.

Canadian military helps seize $33M worth of cocaine in the Caribbean

by Postmedia News

The Canadian military has completed a month-long deployment to the Caribbean Sea, where it helped intercept $33 million worth of cocaine, the Defence Department said Friday.

The Canadian Forces were part of a multinational team focused on stopping overseas drug trafficking in the Caribbean and East Pacific.

There were about 250 Canadians involved in the mission, as well as HMCS Toronto, a Sea King helicopter and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes, the military said.

DND said it was the first time the U.S. Coast Guard’s law-enforcement detachment has used a Canadian navy ship to conduct operations.

“I’m very proud of the part played by the men and women of HMCS Toronto, and our aircrews, in keeping drugs off Canadian streets,” said Defence Minister Peter MacKay in a statement.

“Our sailors and air personnel are a key component of international efforts to interdict cocaine destined for North America.”

The amount of cocaine intercepted in this latest mission amounted to 1,650 kilograms, the Canadian military said. It added that it has been part of international efforts that, since 2006, have stopped 1,075 tonnes of cocaine from getting to markets such as Canada and the United States.

– Article from The Vancouver Sun.