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Canadian Military Becomes Key Player In Busting International Drug Rings

The warship HMCS Toronto has already seized nine drug shipments in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

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The HMCS Toronto Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman

01/22/14

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The Canadian military is making their presence on the world’s drug war scene. A Canadian Forces warship on patrol in the Indian Ocean intercepted a vessel carrying 265 bags of heroin weighing roughly 700 pounds. The drug vessel was boarded by HMCS Toronto within 40 nautical miles of the coast of Tanzania and the drugs were later catalogued before being destroyed.

The HMCS Toronto warship has already intercepted nine drug shipments on the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, seizing 8.5 metric tons of narcotics so far. Last month, they made the largest ever heroin seizure in combined maritime forces operations, recovering 538 kilograms of heroin from a ship near the east coast of Africa.

However, this hardly means the Canadian military is immune to their own drug issues. Findings from the Canadian Forces in 2010 showed that nearly five percent of their military had “recently” used illegal substances, with marijuana being the drug of choice. Other mandatory urine samples tested positive for codeine, morphine, and cocaine. 

Spokeswoman Carole Brown said that the Canadian Forces have a zero-tolerance approach to drug use, but that discipline isn't the only measure taken on those who test positive. Drug abuse is typically viewed as a health issue initially handled through education, treatment, and rehabilitation. She said that "the CF are a microcosm of the Canadian population at large, and as such, it is reasonable to expect that a small percentage of CF members will, at one time or another use illegal drugs."

Watch the HMCS Toronto's crew at work below:

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