Operations update on Canada’s contribution to counter illicit trafficking in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean 

News Release

November 21, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels deployed on Operation CARIBBE in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea have been working hand-in-hand with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) over the past several weeks to intercept and seize large quantities of illicit drugs.

On November 11, 2017, Her Majesty Canadian Ship (HMCS) Moncton intercepted a suspect vessel and disembarked a USCG law enforcement detachment to seize 834 kgs of cocaine and apprehend three suspected smugglers. In the Eastern Pacific Ocean on October 31, 2017, HMCS Nanaimo conducted a similar intercept and seizure with an embarked USCG law enforcement detachment to seize 478 kgs of cocaine and apprehend three suspected smugglers. HMCS Nanaimo has also been credited with disrupting an estimated 750 kgs of cocaine while conducting operations over the past several weeks.

While HMCS Moncton and Nanaimo continue to operate in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, shortly they will be joined by a CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol aircraft to provide surveillance in direct support of the US Joint Interagency Task Force South.


“I commend the recent efforts and success of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Moncton and Nanaimo to interrupt the flow of illicit drugs and support multinational efforts to deter criminal activity. This operation serves as an excellent example of how the Canadian Armed Forces continues to do its part on the international stage to protect our interests and support our allies.”

— Lieutenant-General Steven Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command

"The Royal Canadian Navy's sailors continue to demonstrate excellence in operations around the world. Operation CARIBBE's successes are a result of the partnership between allied Forces and our collective dedication to keeping our sea lanes safe from illicit activity while also preventing illegal drugs from entering North America."

— Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Maritime Component Commander

Quick Facts

  • Since 2006, the CAF has contributed to the seizure of close to 70 metric tons of cocaine in direct support to the United States Interagency Task Force South. 

  • Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s participation in the multinational US-led campaign to detection and interdict the illicit trafficking of drugs, weapons, money, and people.

  • In the spring of 2017, HMCS Saskatoon deployed on Operation CARIBBE and assisted the USCG in the seizure of 1124 kgs and disruption of an estimated 1500 kgs of cocaine from illicit trafficking.

  • The Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels are multi-role minor war vessels with a primary mission of coastal surveillance and patrol including general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols.

  • The CP-140 Aurora is a long range patrol aircraft whose primary mission is anti-submarine warfare, but can also conduct a spectrum of surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks. It has a 17-hour endurance and 4,000 nautical mile (approximately 7,400 km) range, which makes the aircraft an ideal platform for an evolving variety of operations.  In addition to counter-narcotics missions, the Aurora is frequently used to search for illegal fishing, immigration, polluting along the coastline, as well as violations of Canadian territorial sovereignty above and below the ocean’s surface.

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