Combined Maritime Forces seizes $23 million in illegal drugs in Indian Ocean

428

A partner-nation warship operating in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 has seized illegal drugs worth a total estimated US street value of $23 million from a fishing vessel transiting international waters in the Indian Ocean.

The ship on 19 April seized 507 kilograms of heroin from the smuggling vessel while patrolling regional waters. CTF 150 is one of four task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the largest multinational naval partnership in the world.

“I’m delighted that we have once again been able to disrupt the flow of illegal narcotics,” said United Kingdom Royal Navy Captain James Byron, the CTF 150 commander.

The task force previously interdicted illicit narcotics in February when a US Coast Guard cutter discovered 1 350 kilograms of hashish, 276 kilograms of methamphetamine and 23 kilograms of amphetamine pills aboard a different fishing vessel transiting the Arabian Sea. The seized drugs had a combined total value of $20 million.

Since 2021, Combined Maritime Forces has seized more than $1 billion in illegal drugs while patrolling waters across the Middle East. The naval partnership exists to uphold international rules-based order by promoting security and stability across 3.2 million square miles of water encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.