Cablegate: Major Drug Bust Off Coast of Nova Scotia

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Halifax 172

1. (U) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Halifax,
Nova Scotia, working with officials from Montreal seized 500
kilograms of cocaine aboard the Antiguan 15-meter sailing vessel
the "Friend Ship" on Monday, July 5, 2004. The seizure was
worth an estimated value of more than C$18 million.

2. (U) The year-long international operation dubbed "Project
Columbie" by the Montreal police force was the second major
cocaine seizure in the Nova Scotia in less than a week. When
police in Montreal learned a group of Quebec residents were
conspiring with South American cocaine suppliers to smuggle tons
of drugs from the Caribbean and South American into Canada and
England, they worked together with other Federal Canadian
government agencies and officials from Antigua and French
officials from the Caribbean Island of St. Martin. According to
local broadcast news and newspaper reports, the "Friend Ship"
left Antigua on June 23, 2004. The sailing vessel's first stop
was to be Nova Scotia where the drugs were destined for markets
in Canada. The drugs were to be off-loaded in the Village of
Moser River, about 90 kilometers east of Halifax. The drugs
were then to be hidden in a private residence in Moser River
before being distributed to other provinces within Canada. The
bust resulted in nine people being arrested from Quebec, Nova
Scotia and Antigua. The "Friend Ship" has been seized and is
currently being held under close guard at the Department of
National Defence property in Halifax Harbor.

3. (SBU) According to a senior RCMP official, the shipment was
from Venezuela, as was the case with reftel. The official
lamented that beyond the arrests, there would be little impact
on drug flows to Canada. "To get a feeling for the size of the
traffic, you only have to know that the price for cocaine
remains unchanged following each bust." Arguing that the
traffickers target Canada because of the lower risk (the U.S.
imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, whereas Canada
only imposes 8 years), the official offered their opinion that
Canada must stiffens its drug laws if it wishes to significantly
impact the trade over the long-term.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>