04/03/2014 01:14 EDT | Updated 06/03/2014 05:59 EDT

HMCS Regina's anti-terrorism mission catches heroin smugglers instead

ESQUIMALT, B.C. - A Canadian naval ship deployed to watch for terrorism activities in the Indian Ocean has seized a large shipment heroin.

The Defence Department announced Esquimalt, B.C.-based HMCS Regina intercepted a small ship, or dhow, off the east coast of Africa and found 132 kilograms of heroin.

It's the first such drug seizure for the Regina as part of the ship's maritime security and counter-terrorism operation working with warships from 29 other nations.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said in a statement that the narcotics disruption during operation Artemis demonstrates the government's resolve in ridding the area of threats to maritime security and commerce.

The drugs were documented and then destroyed at sea.

Canada has taken part in the combined taskforce since May 2012 promoting the security in the international waters of the Middle East.