Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Aslat continued Combined Task Force (CTF) 150’s recent string of successes by seizing 5 tonnes of hashish on February 6, 2018. With this latest seizure, CTF 150 has confiscated over $1 billion USD of narcotics since December 2017.

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PNS Aslat, in support of CTF 150 and as part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), was conducting routine patrols in the international waters of the Arabian Sea when she detected a dhow of interest. The Pakistan ship requested permission from CTF 150 to conduct a flag verification boarding. Once the dhow was determined to be without nationality, PNS Aslat was authorised to conduct a non-destructive search of the dhow. During that search, the boarding team from PNS Aslat located 5 tonnes of hashish, valued at over $197 million USD. After a thorough search, the illegal drugs were catalogued then disposed of safely.

Commander of CTF 150, Commodore Mal Wise, Royal Australian Navy, emphasised that the ongoing success of CTF 150 is due to the interoperability between partner nations within the task force: “CTF 150 is a multinational task force working together in order to promote security and stability throughout our area of operations. The recent seizure with PNS Aslat highlights the expertise and local operational knowledge of our partner navies that is key to achieving success.”

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Since November 2017, multinational assets in support of CTF 150 have seized over 16 tonnes of hashish and 1.5 tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of $1 billion USD. This is the sixth confiscation of drugs by CTF 150, currently under Australian leadership, with a combined Australian and Canadian staff and supported by assets from partner nations like Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Media note:  *This calculation is based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) at $50 AUD /$39 USD per gram (p215) and Heroin at $300,000 AUD / $235,000 USD per kilogram (p 216).