On 28th May 2019, the French Ship FS FLOREAL intercepted over 520 Kgs of illicit drugs while conducting patrols in the international waters of the Arabian Sea.
Operating under the command of the Pakistan-led CTF 150, FLOREAL conducted a routine visit to a dhow. Hidden among a cargo of cement, French sailors found a number of bales of heroin. Further determined searches of the vessel revealed two further caches with a grand total of 434 bales. The drugs are estimated to have a market value of over $ 5,000,000.
It is the sixth drug bust. FLOREAL is homeported in La Reunion and during a period of CTF 150 tasking in September 2018 conducted three successful drugs seizures, adding a further four during May 2019.
Commodore Alveer Ahmed Noor, Commander of CTF 150 said: “The efforts put in by CTF 150 Units to counter illicit activities and to disrupt revenue supplies to terrorist organizations are commendable. The Pakistan Navy and our allies are determined to maintain maritime security in the region by effectively utilizing assets under CMF command as well as through engagements with regional countries.”
In less than 2 months, CTF 150 Units have seized and destroyed more than 650 kgs of heroin and over 17,500 kgs of hashish. This significant total reflects the dedication and commitment of participating ships and nations, as well as shore authorities, in countering illegal activities in the Indian Ocean.
CTF-150 is a Multi-National Task Force consisting of warships from Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) member nations that come together to help maintain maritime security throughout the Middle East region. CTF 150’s Area of Operation includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.