HMCS Saskatoon helps U.S. Coast Guard with huge cocaine bust

A Canadian naval ship assisted in a massive cocaine bust in international waters.

HMCS Saskatoon carried out one of 17 individual drug boat interceptions as part of a 26-day joint effort with the U.S. Coast Guard known as Operation Martillo.

Saskatoon was responsible for seizing an estimated 660 kg of cocaine off the Pacific coast of Central America on March 12, according to a release from the Department of National Defense.

Three suspected smugglers were apprehended and 33 bales of cocaine were recovered from their boat and from the ocean, the DND said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said a grand total of 14.5 tonnes of cocaine was seized during the Operation Martillo. The drugs have a wholesale value of $500 million, according to officials.

The Canadian Armed Forces has participated in a multinational campaign aimed at illicit trafficking in the eastern Pacific and Caribbean since 2006.