11:28 AM PST, December 30, 2021
The Fifth Fleet’s USS Tempest and USS Typhoon seized the drugs hidden aboard a stateless fishing boat Monday in the Arabian Sea, ABC News reported.
“Two US Navy ships seized 385 kilograms (847 pounds) of heroin worth approximately $4 million” from the vessel transiting the Arabian Sea on Monday, the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement.
The nine Iranian nationals were released after their illegal drugs were seized, the U.S. Navy said.
Iran shares a 1,195 mile-long eastern border with Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, and has turned Iran into a key transit country for the illicit drug trade, ABC News reported.
“This interdiction highlights the incredible work of our ships and Sailors and serves as a reminder of the value in having forward-deployed naval forces on scene and ready,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jordan Bradford, Typhoon’s commanding officer said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Navy said it rescued five Iranian sailors injured in an explosion on their ship and also seized their cargo of illegal drugs, MSN reported.
In 2021, the International Combined Task Force, also known as CTF 150, which features a conglomerate of maritime authorities from America, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, among others says it seized illegal drugs worth more than $193 million (at regional wholesale prices) during counter-narcotics operations at sea.
They added that it is “a higher total value than the amount of drugs the task force interdicted in the previous four years combined.”
CTF 150 regularly conducts maritime security and counter-terrorism operations at sea outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations and their related illicit activities, including the movement of personnel, weapons, narcotics and charcoal.