US destroyer seizes 270 kg of heroin in Arabian Sea

US Navy file photo of USS Laboon

U.S. Navy destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) seized 270 kilograms of heroin from a small stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea March 13.

The dhow was intercepted after having been tracked by a helicopter from the Royal Navy’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Victoria.

Both Laboon and RFA Fort Victoria are part of the Combined Maritime Forces’ CTF-150 task force.

“Keeping these drugs off the street helps everyone, and keeps money from those who use the profits for harm,” said Cmdr. Jason Labott, Laboon’s commanding officer.

“The hard work and professionalism of our boarding team, Laboon’s crew, air crews from RFA Fort Victoria, and the shore side support of CTF-150 and Destroyer Squadron 50 deserve great credit,” Labott added.

This is the second seizure of drugs in under two weeks for the CTF-150.

“The March 2 seizure by HMAS Arunta and last night’s seizure by USS Laboon has resulted in preventing more than a thousand kilograms of combined hashish and heroin from reaching their destination and will prevent transnational terrorists from profiting off these nefarious activities,” the commander of CTF-150, Commodore Haydn C. Edmundson from the Royal Canadian Navy, commented.

Laboon deployed from its Norfolk homeport in January and has been deployed to the region since February. This is Laboon’s first drug seizure since its deployment to the region and is the first such interdiction by a U.S. Navy ship under CTF-150 since May 2014.

Established in 2002, CTF-150 is primarily focused on disrupting terrorist organizations and their activities by denying them the freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain. In collaboration with international and regional maritime security partners, the CTF-150 teams have seized and destroyed billions of dollars in drugs and captured thousands of weapons ensuring they are no longer available to organizations that would cause others harm.

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