Multiple big drug seizures recorded in the Arabian Sea

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A Royal Navy frigate in the Arabian Sea has seized $6 million worth of hashish while a US Coast Guard cutter has seized $80 million worth of heroin in the Gulf of Oman in yet more large drug seizures in the region.

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) reported that on 8 May the Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster (F 229) was operating in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it discovered 3 000 kilograms of hashish on the smuggling vessel.

“I am exceptionally proud of my team for their efforts,” said Commander Tom Johnson, Lancaster’s commanding officer. “This success is shared with our international partners in CTF 150 who provided essential support to the operation.”

Also on 8 May, the US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Glen Harris seized 580 kilograms of methamphetamine and 35 kilograms of heroin from a vessel that had departed an Iranian port. Two days later, it seized $80 million worth of heroin from a fishing vessel. USCGC Glen Harris was operating in support of Combined Task Force 150 when a boarding team discovered 1 964 kilograms of heroin on the vessel transiting international waters after departing Chah Bahar, Iran.

“I’m very proud of my crew and all we’ve been able to accomplish as a team this week,” said Lieutenant Nick Jabs, Glen Harris’s commanding officer. “We’re out here to work with regional partners and disrupt any destabilizing maritime activity at sea. We will continue getting after it.”

Currently led by the United Kingdom, CTF 150 is one of four task forces that form Combined Maritime Forces, the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. Efforts by CTF 150 in the Middle East this year have resulted in drug seizures worth a combined estimated US street value of more than $250 million.

CTF 150 conducts maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations and their related illicit activities, including the movement of personnel, weapons, narcotics and charcoal. These efforts help ensure legitimate commercial shipping transits the region free from non-state threats, CMF said.

Combined Maritime Forces includes 38 nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with US Naval Forces Central Command and US 5th Fleet.