French frigate seizes heroin in Indian Ocean

French Navy frigate FS La Fayette seized over 400 kilos of heroin from a dhow it intercepted in the Indian Ocean in an operation on April 11.

The drugs were intercepted after La Fayette’s Panther helicopter detected a suspicious vessel while on a routine surveillance in the international waters of the Arabian Sea as part of a CMF patrol.

Detecting a dhow of interest, the Marine Nationale frigate closed in on the dhow to investigate further. Following a boarding to determine whether the vessel was without nationality, the vessel was confirmed as such and a non-destructive search consequently took place, locating 413 kgs of heroin, with a street value of over USD$96 million.

According to Combined Maritime Forces, the illegal drugs were catalogued and transferred to La Fayette to be destroyed safely at sea.

La Fayette’s drug interception is the third for the French Navy in support of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150).

The frigate, together with Marine Nationale destroyer Jean de Vienne, confiscated over $370 million worth of drugs over the last two months.

“CMF is a multinational coalition committed to maintaining maritime security in this important region. We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with a professional force like the French Navy,” acting commander of CTF 150, Royal Canadian Navy Captain Christopher Ross, said. “Their continued success and significant contributions to the CMF mission are a testament to France’s commitment and the hard work of the men and women at sea. We look forward to achieving more together.”

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