United States and Royal Navy vessels have seized two large drug shipments in the Gulf of Oman as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 patrolling the area for criminal and terrorist activity.
On 15 May the US Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Glen Harris seized 182 kilograms of heroin, 182 kilograms of methamphetamine, 27 kilograms of amphetamine pills, and 568 kilograms of hashish with a total estimated US street value of $17 million, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) said in a statement.
Glen Harris was operating as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, one of four task forces within the Combined Maritime Forces. The international naval force has increased regional patrols to locate and disrupt unlawful maritime activity.
On 12 May, USCGC Emlen Tunnell interdicted a separate fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman and seized methamphetamine and hashish worth $10 000, following the seizure of $4 million in heroin on 5 May by United Kingdom’s frigate HMS Montrose.
In that operation, a team of Royal Marines secured a suspect vessel and scoured the craft from bow to stern in a nine-hour operation. They discovered numerous sacks hidden aboard – sacks which tests showed contained heroin. The seizure came to 90 kilogrammes.
The Royal Navy said it brought Montrose’s haul since mid-January to £97 million of illegal narcotics – heroin, cannabis and methamphetamines. “And it means more than 18 tonnes of drugs have been kept off the streets of the UK – or other countries – since she began operating in the Middle East in January 2019,” the Royal Navy added.
“The world-leading Royal Navy is demonstrating its value, in this case denying criminals a source of income and keeping drugs off our streets,” said James Heappey, UK Minister for the Armed Forces. “Our sailors are operating side by side with allies and friends, upholding the international rules-based system and promoting global security.”
Combined Maritime Forces is the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. The organization includes 34 nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with US Naval Forces Central Command and US 5th Fleet.