HMS Lancaster Makes Drug Bust in Arabian Sea
A frigate from the United Kingdom Royal Navy seized $6 million worth of hashish from a fishing vessel transiting the Arabian Sea, May 8.
HMS Lancaster (F 229) was operating in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it discovered 3,000 kilograms of hashish on the smuggling vessel. The seizure occurred the same day the U.S. Coast Guard confiscated large quantities of methamphetamines and heroin from another fishing vessel while patrolling the Gulf of Oman under CTF 150.
“I am exceptionally proud of my team for their efforts,” said Cmdr. Tom Johnson, Lancaster’s commanding officer. “This success is shared with our international partners in CTF 150 who provided essential support to the operation.”
Currently led by the United Kingdom, CTF 150 is one of four task forces that form Combined Maritime Forces, the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. Efforts by CTF 150 in the Middle East this year have resulted in drug seizures worth a combined estimated U.S. street value of more than $250 million.
CTF 150 conducts maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations and their related illicit activities, including the movement of personnel, weapons, narcotics and charcoal. These efforts help ensure legitimate commercial shipping transits the region free from non-state threats.
Combined Maritime Forces includes 38 nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet.