French Marine Nationale frigate FS Languedoc, operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), seized more than 1 600 kg of illegal drugs during a maritime counter-narcotics operation in the Indian Ocean on 20 September.
The intercept and search of a vessel suspected of smuggling resulted in the seizure of more than 1 525 kg of hash and 166 kg of methamphetamine with a combined value of over $5.2 million, CMF said.
Languedoc was conducting patrols in support of CMF’s New Zealand-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it seized the illegal drugs.
“The seizure of narcotics from a dhow in the Indian Ocean is testament to the strong partnership between CMF, the Marine Nationale and CTF 150,” said Royal New Zealand Navy Captain Brendon Clark, commander of CTF 150. “Languedoc has once again demonstrated that through collaboration with like-minded partners, CMF is able to seize and destroy millions of dollars’ worth of narcotics, the income from which would otherwise be used to fund illicit activities and terrorism.”
CTF 150’s mission is to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations and their related illicit activities, including the movement of personnel, weapons, narcotics and charcoal. CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to ensure legitimate commercial shipping transits the region freely from non-state threats.
CMF is a multinational maritime partnership of 34 nations that includes three task forces. It exists to uphold international rules-based order by countering illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting security, stability, and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.