A Free Pass for Drug Traffickers at Sea

Antipiracy patrols dump tons of heroin and other drugs overboard—but have to let the bad guys go.

A Free Pass for Drug Traffickers at Sea

By YURY FEDOTOV

The Combined Maritime Forces is a partnership of 30 seafaring nations including the U.S., Canada and Saudi Arabia founded in 2002 to promote security and prosperity across more than two million square miles of international waters, including the heavily trafficked waters of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

The CMF’s main concerns are piracy and terrorism. But in the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and elsewhere, CMF patrols are discovering huge amounts of narcotics when boarding vessels during counterpiracy and counterterrorism operations. Incredibly, once the drugs are seized the traffickers are set free—because the CMF has no authority to apprehend them in international waters.

Clearly, this needs to change. CMF patrols should be able to apprehend and take ashore drug traffickers just as they do pirates and terrorists.

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Source: online.wsj.com

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