French Navy frigate FS Floreal has seized over 7 tons of hashish from two dhows in the Indian Ocean on September 23 and 24.
According to Combined Maritime Forces, the drugs are valued at $3.5m, based on street values in Yemen, which was the expected destination for the hashish.
This is the most significant seizure of illicit drugs in the Indian Ocean since the Royal Saudi Naval Force took over command of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF)150 in August.
The first fishing dhow was intercepted on September 23, after it displayed suspicious behavior. Some 3900kg of hashish were confiscated and later destroyed.
A few hours later, FS Floreal’s helicopter detected another fishing dhow behaving suspiciously. Once again, the crew conducted a flag verification boarding and let loose Max, the ship’s sniffer dog. Max was quick to sniff out another 3500kg of hashish, which was promptly seized and later destroyed.
The ship’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Carrard said: “This series of hits on the illegal trafficking of narcotics is a great achievement for the Floreal crew. It is a follow-on of the efforts made continuously by ships from many nations operating within CTF150.”
CTF150 have seized and destroyed more than 1500kg of heroin and over 40 000kg of hashish in the last 12 months.