French Navy frigate seizes nearly 3 tons of hashish in Arabian Sea

The French Navy’s Cassard-class anti-air frigate Jean Bart (D615) intercepted over 2,900 kg of illicit drugs on 12 February 2021, in the latest successful Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) interdiction in the Arabian Sea.

Jean bart
Photo: FS Jean Bart

After spotting a suspicious dhow and later investigating it using the ship’s Panther helicopter, the crew of the Jean Bart observed multiple packages being thrown overboard.

The subsequent search and recovery operation seized 148 parcels containing 2,960 kg of cannabis resin, known locally as hashish. The total market value of this bust amounts to over $1.5 million, according to CMF.

“I am very proud that Jean Bart and her crew could contribute to the coalition fight against illicit trafficking that feeds international crime and terrorism,” Captain Ouk, commanding officer of the ship, commented.

“This seizure results from the good cooperation amongst Combined Task Force 150 and our good knowledge of this area where French units operate on a regular basis.”

Following the operation, boarding teams from the Jean Bart carried out an inspection and search of the dhow to determine whether further contraband was hidden onboard. Strict COVID-19 precaution measures were in place to ensure the safety of those involved.

Boarding teams from FS Jean Bart search a suspicious dhow in the Arabian Sea, after witnessing the crew dumping packages overboard. Photo: FS Jean Bart

The crew of the Jean Bart, in accordance with local and regional laws, then destroyed the drugs at sea.

This haul represents the fourth successful counter-narcotics interdiction achieved by the Royal Canadian Navy-led task force in just over a month, and follows hot on the heels of back to back seizures by HMS Montrose in which over 2,404 kg of hashish, heroin, and methamphetamine were seized worth over $15 million, and another by USS Philippine Sea, in which heroin worth more than $2.8 million was discovered.

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