FS COURBET Seizes 3 Tonnes of Hashish on Dhow in Gulf of Oman As Part of CTF150
January 18: Less than two weeks after their first narcotics seizure of 2020, French Ship (FS) COURBET made a second narcotics seizure whilst operating in direct support of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150).
The crew discovered the narcotics on the third boardings they’d conducted in 24 hours. Over 3000 kg of hashish was discovered on the dhow in the Gulf of Oman, with an estimated regional wholesale value of over $1,500,000 US dollars.
Using their shipborne helicopter, FS COURBET identified and tracked a suspicious dhow sailing in their area of operations. A boarding team, including their drug detecting dog, was dispatched in COURBET’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) to search the vessel, with significant results.
Since Australia assumed command of CTF 150 in December with a staff from the Royal Australian, Royal Canadian and Royal New Zealand navies, FS COURBET has been a key enabler in CTF 150’s mission to disrupt terrorist organisations and their related illegal activities by restricting their freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain.
Not every boarding results in a seizure, but CTF 150’s persistent activity sends the message that there are forces in the Arabian Sea committed to protecting and promoting security and stability.
FS COURBET has conducted five boardings in the last six weeks, with three netting 8 tonnes of hashish with an estimated regional wholesale value of $4.1 million US dollars.
In December 2019, Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) DEFENDER of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, working in direct support of CTF 150, also seized 131 kg of crystal methamphetamine. The haul had an estimated regional wholesale value of over $280,000 US dollars, the largest seizure of crystal meth in the Combined Maritime Forces’ history.
Of course, the regional wholesale value is small by comparison to the street value of these drugs should they reach the streets of Europe.
Source: Combined Maritime Forces