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Canadian Warships Pluck 700 Kilos Of Cocaine From The Ocean Near Nicaragua


MANAGUA — Crews aboard two Canadian warships are being credited with seizing 700 kilograms of cocaine while on patrol in the Caribbean.

The Royal Canadian Navy says HMCS Summerside was taking part in Operation Caribbe on March 7 when it intercepted a 12 metre sailboat off the coast of Nicaragua.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard later seized 16 bales of cocaine.

Canada doesn’t have the legal authority to seize vessels so that job is handed off to the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment.

On March 19, the crew of HMCS Saskatoon intercepted a fishing boat that jettisoned its cargo and fled at high speed.

Ten bales of cocaine were later retrieved from the water.

For the tenth year, Canada is taking part in Operation Caribbe, a multinational effort aimed at stemming the flow of drugs, weapons and cash from the Caribbean and Central America.

HMCS Summerside and her sister ship HMCS Moncton departed Halifax last month for the two month mission.

If the U.S. Coast Guard seizes a vessel they want to board, HMCS Summerside will transport an eight member team to the vessel in question and they will conduct a full search. That search can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Last year, HMCS Brandon and HMCS Whitehorse were Canada’s contribution to Operation Caribbe and helped seize almost 10,000 kilograms of narcotics

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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