In just 4 days, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, under the command of the Pakistan led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, conducted its second and third illegal narcotic hauls, seizing and destroying just over 4,500Kgs of hashish and 10 Kgs of heroin.
CTF 150 is a multinational maritime force whose mission is to maintain maritime security and prevent illegal activity across the Arabian Sea, Southern Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean. Covering an area of 2.3m square kilometers, CTF 150 works with its coalition partners to help prevent illegal narcotics.
Commodore Alveer Ahmed Noor Si, Commander CTF150 said: “The Pakistan Navy command team is determined to maintain good order at sea through adept deployment of CTF150 Units. Effective Command and Control and close coordination with deployed assets has resulted in the successful seizure of a sizable amount of narcotics. Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Security Cooperation between relevant stakeholders is a necessity to overcome various maritime challenges and protect global commerce”. He went onto say: “As Commander of Combined Task Force 150, my aim is to continue working together with regional players, participating nations and maritime organisations in order to further augment collaboration with regional states and harness their support, which remains pivotal for maintaining maritime security throughout the region”.
On the 14th and 18th April, HMCS Regina spotted two suspicious dhows, off the coast of Oman in an area known as the “Hash Highway.” The ship deployed its Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) team – working as the boarding team for the ship, and seized hauls of illegal hashish and heroin, which were transferred to HMCS Regina and subsequently destroyed.
Commander Jacob French, Commanding Officer HMCS Regina “We’re honoured to be contributing to counter-terrorism and maritime security efforts in the Middle East, ensuring the funding from illegal narcotics is staying out of the hands of criminal and terrorist organisations. I’m extremely proud of the hard work of our ship’s company, and we remain ready to continue our mission and support CTF 150 and the Combined Maritime Forces.”
Lt (N) Jacob Killawee, NTOG Officer in Charge said, “Our priority when boarding these ships is the safety and welfare of the fishermen we encounter, drugs being there or not. In order to effectively deter and disrupt the flow of narcotics that is funding terrorism, it’s just as important for us to build trust with the people who are being exploited by those same actors who wish to do us harm. We are trained and prepared for a worst case scenario, but treating the crew with dignity and respect makes our job easier and safer for everyone involved. Our success validates the hard work we’ve done in preparation for this deployment, ensuring that we were in the right place, with the right training and equipment to achieve this result.”