French Navy Successfully Seizes $108 Million Drug Shipment In The Indian Ocean
Drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin valued at $108 million, were seized in the Indian Ocean by a French warship that operates with the CTF 150.
Announced on 24 May, a French warship reportedly made some significant strides in the fight against illegal drug trafficking, with the sudden seizure of illegal drugs valued at about $108 million while operating in the Indian Ocean between April 19 and May 18, as part of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.
The warship seized illegal drugs from four fishing ships, confiscating nearly 2,265kg of heroin and almost 242 kilograms of methamphetamine during the routine patrol of regional waters.
The maritime forces of CTF 150 have seized illegal drugs with an estimated value of $203m in 2023, adding to path-breaking drug interdictions advanced by the US and international naval units in 2021 and 2022, summing to a total greater than $1bn in value.
CTF 150, a task force that operates under the Combined Maritime Forces, is one of five major task forces in the Combined Maritime Forces, the greatest multinational naval partnership that exists worldwide. The CTF 150 is currently headquartered in Bahrain, in association with the Combined Maritime Forces that come under the leadership of the commander of the US 5th Fleet and the US Naval Forces Central Command.
Per the UK Royal Navy’s Lt. Francis Henry, a CTF 150 staff officer coordinating the task force’s counter-narcotics operations, collaborating with French sailors to accomplish the mission’s objectives has been a satisfying experience. He said it had been a pleasure to work with the French sailors to achieve the mission’s targets together.
In the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Gulf of Oman, CTF 150 is engaged in maritime security operations, with the prime goal of thwarting destabilizing activities, boosting adherence to international laws, and enabling an unimpeded flow of trade and commerce.
On May 8, the HMS Lancaster, functioning as part of the CTF 150, seized about 3.2 tons of cannabis resin in the waters of the Arabian Sea; the illegal drugs are estimated to have a value of about £2.5 million.
On April 21, the USS Paul Hamilton, also a part of the CTF 150, intercepted illegal drugs worth $42 million sailing in the Gulf of Oman, including the 35lbs of methamphetamine.
References: Al-Monitor, Naval Technology