US Navy destroyer makes second Arabian Sea drug bust in five days

Sailors assigned to USS Laboon (DDG 58) offload bags containing Hashish from a dhow in the Arabian Sea, March 17. Photo: US Navy

U.S. Navy destroyer USS Laboon made its second drug bust in five days, seizing 500 kg of hashish in the Arabian Sea on March 17.

In the previous interception from March 13, Laboon intercepted a small stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea, seizing 270 kg of heroin. Another ship from CTF 150, the Australian Navy ship HMAS Arunta, seized 800kg of Hashish on March 2, making this the third CTF 150 seizure in the last three weeks.

Conducting maritime security operations in the region as a part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, Laboon, was inspecting the vessel as part of a flag verification boarding when the illicit cargo was found.

Lt. Dan Foley, the boarding officer who led the team that made the seizure, credited his team for their results.

“They worked tirelessly for over 14 hours to secure the illicit narcotics,” Foley said. “I cannot praise them enough for staying calm and collected in a very tense environment. Ultimately, it was a great St. Patrick’s Day. We kept the drugs off the market and most importantly denied terrorist organizations from benefitting off the profits of the narcotics onboard.”

“These boardings, whether they result in a successful seizure or not, are some of the most complex and dangerous evolutions that our Sailors conduct on the high seas,” CTF 150 commander, Royal Canadian Navy Commodore Haydn Edmundson said. “This second seizure by the USS Laboon in such a short period of time is testament to their superb training and preparedness for this task which is just one of the many missions the ship has while deployed.”

Laboon deployed from its Norfolk, Va., homeport in January and has been deployed to the region since February.

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