French warship seizes 500 kg of heroin in Indian Ocean

A French Navy frigate seized nearly half a ton of heroin and 4 tons of cannabis on a routine patrol of the Indian Ocean.

The navy informed that its Guépratte, a La Fayette-type frigate, was patrolling the northern Indian Ocean en route toward the Strait of Hormuz on December 27 when it spotted a dhow. The frigate intercepted the dhow and after an inspection found the contraband. The drugs have a total estimated U.S. street value of $24 million. 

The frigate is deployed as part of the Combined Task Forces (CTF 150), one of four task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

CTF150 conducts Maritime Security Operations (MSO) outside the Arabian Gulf to ensure that legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. Its mission is to disrupt criminal and terrorist organisations and their mandated related illicit activities by restricting their freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain.

CMF said that it has seized nearly $1 billion worth of illicit narcotics since 2021 while patrolling international waters in the Middle East.

Guépratte previously seized 271 kilograms of heroin from another fishing vessel while patrolling the Gulf of Oman in February 2022.

Photo: French Marine Nationale photo