US Navy seizes drugs worth millions

The latest US Navy drugs bust is part of more than $193 million-worth of narcotics seizures in 2021

The US Navy has announced the confiscation of a huge cache of heroin, worth an estimated $4 million, which was seized from a fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea.

American personnel aboard the USS Tempest and USS Typhoon were working as part of an international task force while conducting a “flag verification boarding,” the Navy said. The Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 has so far this year seized illegal drugs at sea worth more than $193 million, according to Thursday’s press release, which they claim is higher than the previous four years combined. 

Monday’s drug seizure amounted to 385 kilograms (849 pounds) of heroin.

The task force says their patrolling outside the Arabian Gulf is meant to stop “criminal and terrorist organizations,” as well as “related illicit activities” such as the shipment of weapons and narcotics. 

“These efforts help ensure legitimate commercial shipping transits the region free from non-state threats,” The Navy’s announcement celebrating the task force’s bust reads. 

CTF 150 is part of the 34-nation Combined Maritime Forces, headquartered in Bahrain with the US Forces Naval Central Command and the US Fifth Fleet. The forces operate by patrolling and conducting counter terrorism operations at sea. 

The heroin discovered on December 27 was “destroyed at sea,” officials said. The nine crewmembers of the stateless vessel were reportedly released after the drugs were taken. The crew identified themselves as Iranian, according to the Navy’s statement. 

Commander Timothy Hawkins, a spokesperson for the Fifth Fleet, did not specify the manufacturer of the drugs or the intended final destination. 

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