US Navy destroyer seizes hashish in Gulf of Aden

US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) seized almost five tons of hashish from a dhow in the Gulf of Aden on December 27.

According to the US Navy, the destroyer made the interception during a flag verification boarding as part of maritime security operations in the region.

“We have been conducting maritime security operations along suspected maritime smuggling routes in order to interdict illicit shipments into Yemen and Somalia,” said US Navy Cmdr. Brent Jackson, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon.

“It’s critical in an effort to curb the ongoing shipments of illicit weapons and narcotics. I am grateful that Chung-Hoon was able to play a small part in an ongoing effort to deter and limit these illicit shipments of contraband.”

The vessel was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding, conducted in accordance with customary international law. The vessel and its crew were allowed to depart once the narcotics were seized.

Chung-Hoon is one of the many ships currently conducting maritime security operations in the US 5th Fleet. Maritime security operations as conducted by the US Navy entail routine patrols to determine pattern of life in the maritime as well as enhance mariner-to-mariner relations. The relationships built as a result allow the US Navy to disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and unlawful activities, and also reassures law-abiding mariners in the region.

Chung-Hoon is deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

Photo: USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) sailors observe a stateless dhow found to be carrying over 11,000 pounds of illicit drugs. Photo: US Navy