The Canadian Armed Forces ship is participating in Op CARIBBE off the Pacific Coast of North and Central America
November 10, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Brandon, in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), seized an estimated 700 Kg of cocaine in international waters off the Pacific Coast of Central America on November 5, 2016.
The cocaine, worth an estimated $28 million (USD), was recovered from the ocean after being jettisoned by suspected smugglers in a panga-style fishing vessel that had been spotted by a USCG HC-130J aircraft patrolling the region. HMCS Brandon launched two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) with USCG law enforcement teams onboard to pursue the vessel and secure the 14 jettisoned bales.
Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s participation in the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean Sea and the East Pacific Ocean.
“This latest seizure serves not only as a testament to the dedication and hard work by the crew of HMCS Brandon and the U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, but to their ability to work in concert. Our efforts, both leading into this operation, and on the operation itself, have led to this interdiction, which ultimately means fewer drugs reaching our shores. I am incredibly proud of my team.”
— Lieutenant Commander Jolene Lisi, Commanding Officer HMCS Brandon
- A total of 14 bales were recovered, weighing an estimated 700 Kg in total. They were secured by one of the RHIBs and later recovered by HMCS Brandon.
- The seized substance was tested positive for cocaine by the USCG.
- The HMCS Brandon RHIB was unable to apprehend the suspected panga vessel.
- Since February 2016, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have seized or disrupted a total of approximately 3,630 kg of cocaine and 1,520 kg of marijuana.
- The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has conducted Operation CARIBBE since November 2006.
- Joint Interagency Task Force South, a subordinate command of United States Southern Command, oversees the detection and monitoring of illicit traffickers and assists US and multinational law enforcement agencies with the interdiction of illicit traffickers.
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Media can request a short telephone interview with Lieutenant-Commander Jolene Lisi, Commanding Officer of HMCS Brandon on November 11, 2016, by contacting Captain Rick Donnelly at Rick.Donnelly2@forces.gc.ca.
Department of National Defence
Fourteen bales of cocaine weighing an estimated 700 kg rest on the sweep deck of HMCS BRANDON after being jettisoned by a suspected smuggling vessel, a small fishing boat known as a panga, off the Pacific coast of Central America during Operation CARIBBE on 5 November, 2016.
Image by: U.S. Coast Guard