Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ship
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto has seized
approximately 280kg of high-grade heroin off the coast of
Tanzania, close to Zanzibar Island.
The illicit narcotics were seized after HMCS Toronto
intercepted and boarded a suspect dhow.
An extensive search of the vessel revealed 280.7kg of heroin
The narcotics were catalogued before samples were taken for
further analysis and the remainder destroyed.
The seizure happened after CMF air assets, including a US
Navy P3C ‘Orion’ maritime patrol aircraft and Her Majesty’s
Australian Ship HMAS Melbourne’s embarked ‘Seahawk’
helicopter, observed the suspect dhow in the north Indian Ocean.
They relayed the dhow’s location to HMCS Toronto which
was able to board and investigate the vessel as it neared the
Commander Matthew Bowen, Royal Canadian Navy, Commanding
Officer, HMCS Toronto said:
"It is the collaboration with our multi-national partners
that has enabled us to achieve a positive outcome in seizing
these illegal narcotics.
"Our combined efforts serve to disrupt the funding of
terrorist organisations, which is the heart of our mission with
Commodore Daryl Bates, Royal Australian Navy, Commander CTF
"I congratulate the Royal Canadian Navy, and the men and
women of HMCS Toronto in particular, for another job well done."
During her year-long deployment with CMF, HMCS Toronto has
seized 2,327 kg of heroin from smuggling dhows.
In December 2013, the ship seized 539kg of heroin from a
single dhow – the largest heroin interdiction ever by a CMF
This latest heroin seizure follows two previous interdictions
by HMCS Toronto in the same region:
On 15 April last year, Toronto’s boarding team
discovered almost 500kgs of heroin hidden aboard a dhow off
On 9 May, 317kgs of heroin were taken from another smuggling
dhow situated118 miles off the Tanzanian coast.
Cdre Bates added: "Through hard work and persistence,
Toronto has adversely affected the operations of those who wish to use
the maritime environment for illicit activities.
"We know that such activity funds terrorism and violent
extremism so we are pleased this cargo was intercepted."
HMCS Toronto is currently deployed within Combined Task Force
(CTF)150, one of three task forces operating under CMF.
CTF 150 is currently led by an Australian command team based
at the CMF headquarters in Bahrain.
Its mission is to promote maritime security across over 2.5
million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian
Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
Over 280 kg of heroin
seized off Tanzanian coast, authorities denies awareness
DAR ES SALAAM (Xinhua) --
More than 280 kg of heroin aboard a vessel
off the coast of Tanzania were seized over the weekend by a
Canadian military ship but authorities in Tanzania said on
Monday they are not aware of the seizure.
Reports reaching Xinhua said the Canadian military ship MCS
Toronto intercepted a large shipment of heroin 40 nautical miles
off the coast of Tanzania on Friday when it was conducting a
Officials from both the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF)
and the Anti-Drugs Police Unit said they were not aware of the
TPDF spokesperson Major Erick Komba said military ships
from various countries have been patrolling the Indian Ocean
and other oceans as part of campaigns against piracy, drugs
dealing and terrorism.
"We are not aware of the particular operation.
"What I know is that Tanzania has signed agreements to
allow such kind of patrols to combat various crimes in the
ocean," Komba said.
Geofrey Nzowa, the head of the Anti-Narcotics Unit also
said he was not aware of the operation.
"I am aware that Canadian military ships have seized
drugs off the East African coast before. Last year they
nabbed about 1,000 kilos of drugs," Nzowa noted.
In fact Friday’s seizure was not the first by a foreign
Last September, Italian police intercepted a Tanzanian
registered ship in the Mediterranean Sea with cannabis worth
over 78 million U.S. dollars on board.
Italian customs officials intercepted the ship as it sailed
off the coast of Sicily, about 60 km north of Malta, following a
tip- off that it was carrying a huge consignment of drugs.
The Tanzanian government also battled hard last year to stem
the flow of drugs through Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere
International Airport (JNIA), which has been identified as a
major entry and exit point for narcotics.
Two Tanzanian women were arrested in July last year with a
drug haul valued at about 4.4 million U.S. dollars upon their
arrival at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport from