Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Edmonton and Saskatoon have concluded a successful mission as part of Operation CARIBBE 2016. In just a little over a month, the two ships have assisted in the seizure or disruption of 3,935 kilograms of cocaine during the deployment.
“The skill, training, and dedication of all the sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy are once again proven to be second-to-none. I am exceptionally proud of the hard work and cohesion displayed by all the ships’ crews, and I commend all the members involved in these disruptions,” said Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
Deploying in early March, the two ships confiscated a combined total of 1,975 kg of cocaine early into the deployment. On March 29, HMCS Edmonton and United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Escanaba, assisted by a Maritime Patrol Aircraft, impeded a “panga” style fishing vessel off of the Pacific coast of Central America. After boarding and searching the vessel, the HMCS Edmonton team was able to seize 22 bales of cocaine, weighing 660 kg.
In April, HMCS Edmonton again assisted in the seizure of 650 kg of cocaine. HMCS Saskatoon assisted in the confiscation of 650 kg of cocaine on April 7.
“The first deployment of four Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels in 2016 produced tremendous results in disrupting illicit trafficking in both the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. Their vigilance and interoperability with the United States Coast Guard Teams not only kept approximately four tonnes of cocaine from reaching our streets, but also kept those proceeds from the criminal organizations who destabilize the safety and security in Central and South America,” stated LtGen. Stephen Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.
So far this year, Canadian ships have seized or disrupted approximately 4,260 kg of cocaine and 1,520 of marijuana.
Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s participation in the wider, multi-national campaign against illicit trafficking and transnational organized crime entitled Operation MARTILLO. Two other Royal Canadian Navy vessels, HMCS Moncton, and Summerside, supported the operation in the Caribbean Sea earlier this year.
Feature Image provided by Combat Camera
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Saskatoon patrols the eastern Pacific Ocean during Operation CARIBBE on April 12, 2016. Photo: Public Affairs Officer,
Op CARIBBE ET2016-4543-06