CMF: US Navy destroyer seizes more than 900 kg of narcotics in Arabian Sea

US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of more than 900kg of suspected narcotics from a stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea on December 4.

Sailors assigned to USS Ralph Johnson pose with seized narcotics following a visit, board, search, and seizure operation. Photo: CMF

The warship initially identified a dhow loitering without power in international waters. When the ship approached to determine if the dhow required assistance, they failed to produce flag registration documentation.

 As informed, a subsequent search discovered the narcotics which are currently in US custody awaiting analysis.

This seizure, conducted in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, marks the fourth CMF drug seizure since October.

To mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, the boarding team undertook carefully executed precautionary measures during and after the boarding, including decontamination of all seized contraband.

CMF is a multinational maritime partnership which exists to counter illicit non-state actors in international waters, promoting security, stability and prosperity in the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organisations, ensuring legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats.