HMCS Nanaimo continues success in the Eastern Pacific: 1511 kg of cocaine seized

Two speed boats in the water
Members of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Nanaimo and a United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment collaborate on the boarding of a suspected smuggling vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during Operation CARIBBE on November 21, 2017. Photo: MARPAC Imaging Services

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By: The Executive Officer of HMCS Nanaimo, Operation CARIBBE

The success of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Nanaimo and the embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) continued when they recently seized approximately 1511 kilograms of cocaine off of the coast of Mexico.

“The effectiveness of the close partnership between the skilled crew of HMCS Nanaimo and the United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment team embarked on board is evidenced by their continued success on the high seas,” said the Commanding Officer of HMCS Nanaimo. “The men and women of the Nanaimo are proud to be part of this important operation to keep illicit drugs off of the streets.”

This interdiction brought the total to approximately 1989 kilograms of illicit drugs seized and an additional 950 kilograms disrupted since starting their counterdrug mission in the Eastern Pacific, known as Operation CARIBBE.

In the late afternoon of November 21, 2017, HMCS Nanaimo was alerted that a suspect vessel was operating in an area north of the Galapagos Islands by an aircraft on routine patrol in the region. The sea state and weather at this time presented many challenges to both the aircraft and ship. However, they ultimately tracked and successfully intercepted the suspect vessel. Upon intercepting the suspect vessel, HMCS Nanaimo launched a rigid-hulled inflatable boat with the embarked USCG LEDET to board and search the vessel. While conducting the search, they located 77 bales of cocaine.

“Canadian Armed Forces involvement is invaluable to the ongoing international efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking in the eastern Pacific region,” said the Officer in Charge of Law Enforcement Detachment 404 TACLET South. “Whether disrupted or seized, by working together, we deny violent criminal enterprises millions of dollars and keep thousands of pounds of cocaine off our streets.”

United States Coast Guard sources value the interdicted cocaine at approximately $33,000 (USD) per kilogram. This makes the street value of the cocaine seized by HMCS Nanaimo and the USGC LEDET an estimated $49.9 million (USD).

On December 6, 2017, HMCS Nanaimo completed its deployment on Operation CARIBBE.

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