Saturday, June 09, 2012
A Royal Canadian Navy commander says he believes drug traffickers arrested by a Royal Canadian Navy vessel in the Gulf of Aden had links to terrorist organizations.
Cmdr. Wade Carter of the HMCS Charlottetown said in a conference call Friday that the frigate intercepted an illicit drug shipment in the gulf on the west side of the Arabian Sea, north of Somalia.
The commander says about 270 kilograms of hashish was captured on May 7 when a team from the ship boarded a small vessel, though no arrests were made.
Carter says the navy believes some profits from the drugs run between the coast of Pakistan and coastal nations in east Africa are used to fund terrorism and the purchase of arms.
He also says there are indications of links to terrorist organizations in the case of the vessel that was arrested, but he declined to give any further details.
The capture came after an unmanned aerial vehicle relayed information about a suspicious exchange between a small skiff meeting a dhow.
Carter says some of the drugs were thrown overboard but the sailors managed to recover a portion of the drugs.
The Charlottetown is part of a 26-nation counter-narcotics task force in the gulf.
The frigate has been conducting NATO counter-terrorism patrols in the Mediterranean since January.