French destroyer seizes more than 4 tons of drugs

On 5 March 2018, the French Marine Nationale destroyer Jean de Vienne seized over four tons of hashish during an operation in the international waters of the Arabian Sea, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) said.

Jean de Vienne’s seizure is the third for CTF150 in recent days. Together with Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga, the two ships have confiscated over USD 400 million of narcotics in just 48 hours.

The Jean de Vienne’s Lynx helicopter, flying with HMAS Warramunga’s Seahawk helicopter was conducting routine surveillance in the international waters of the Arabian Sea as part of CMF. Detecting a vessel of interest, the Jean de Vienne tracked the dhow to investigate further and determined the vessel was without nationality.

Boarding teams from Jean de Vienne then conducted a non-destructive search of the vessel, locating four tons of hashish, valued at over USD 130 million. After a thorough search, the illegal narcotics were cataloged and transferred to Jean de Vienne for safe destruction at sea.

On March 3 and 4, 2018, HMAS Warramunga conducted two boardings in the Arabian Sea, locating over seven tons of hashish, valued at over USD 300 million.

Since December 2017, multinational assets in support of CTF150 have seized over 31 tons of hashish and 1.5 tons of heroin, valued in excess of USD 1.4 billion.

This is the ninth confiscation of drugs by CTF 150, currently under Australian leadership, with a combined Australian and Canadian staff and supported by assets from partner nations like Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.