Two-ton hashish haul for Op Atalanta

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A regular Operation Atalanta maritime security patrol off the coast of Oman was rewarded with a two-ton haul of hashish, the European Union naval force reports.

La Fayette Class frigate FS Surcouf (F711) of the French Navy captured more than two tons of narcotics.

The French warship was in direct support to EU NavFor under command of the FHQ on board the Atalanta flagship ESPS Reina Sofia (F84) led by Spanish Rear Admiral Ibañez Martín.

While patrolling en route from Atalanta area of operation (AOO) to Agenor AOO area of operation, the French frigate inspected a stateless dhow and seized more than two tons of hashish, worth around 20 million euros at street value.

The interdiction was conducted on the infamous “Hashish Highway”, a narcotics trafficking ultimately leading to Europe. After two operations conducted by Mission Jeanne D’Arc 23  in March, this is the third counter narcotics operation this year for c Operation Atalanta, with a total of more than 55 million euros of narcotics taken from illicit drug trafficking networks.

France, a statement has it, is strongly committed to Operation Atalanta which allows the European Union (EU) to tackle the narcotics flow in the Indian Ocean in accordance with the EU NavFor mandate. The counter  narcotics task targets illegal activities into which criminal networks have diversified, as well as tackling sources of funding for violent extremist organisations.

This success highlights Operation Atlanta’s full commitment against illegal trafficking and proves EUNavFor’s effectiveness as maritime security provider, increasing responsibilities successfully developed during its 14 year life to date.