French frigate seizes over half ton of drugs in Arabian Sea

French Navy frigate FS Floreal intercepted over 520 kgs of illicit drugs while conducting patrols in the international waters of the Arabian Sea on May 28, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) said. 

Operating under the command of the Pakistan-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, Floreal conducted a routine visit to a dhow.

Hidden among a cargo of cement, French sailors found a number of bales of heroin. Further searches of the vessel revealed another two caches with a grand total of 434 bales.

The drugs are estimated to have a market value of over $5 million, according to CMF.

It is the sixth major seizure by the Floreal since September 2018 when the vessel seized more than seven tons of hashish in the Indian Ocean.

“The efforts put in by CTF 150 Units to counter illicit activities and to disrupt revenue supplies to terrorist organizations are commendable. The Pakistan Navy and our allies are determined to maintain maritime security in the region by effectively utilizing assets under CMF command as well as through engagements with regional countries,” Commodore Alveer Ahmed Noor, Commander of CTF 150, said.

In less than 2 months, CTF 150 units have seized and destroyed more than 650 kgs of heroin and over 17,500 kgs of hashish.

CTF 150 is a multi-national task force consisting of warships from CMF member nations that come together to help maintain maritime security throughout the Middle East region.