The success of HMCS Nanaimo and the embarked United States Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) continued when they recently assisted in seizure of approximately 1,511 kilograms of cocaine off the coast of Mexico.
“The effectiveness of the close partnership between the skilled crew of HMCS Nanaimo and the USCG LEDET 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 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 1,989 kilograms of illicit drugs seized and an additional 950 kilograms disrupted since starting their counter-drug 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 the 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.
USCG 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 6th, HMCS Nanaimo completed its deployment on Operation CARIBBE with a visit to Alameda, California and will return to Esquimalt December 15th.
(Note: For operational security reasons, military members deployed on Operation CARIBBE cannot be identified.)