Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard seized $33 million worth of drugs from the fishing vessel that was smuggling hashish and methamphetamine, transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday, according to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

It is estimated that 4,000 kilograms of hashish and 512 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized from the smuggling vessel by Coast Guard cutter Emlen Tunnell.

The ship was patrolling regional waters in the Gulf of Oman in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, a large international naval partnership in the world consisting of 38 member-nations and partners, which has since 2021, interdicted $1 billion worth of illicit narcotics during maritime patrols.

“This is just the beginning of our work in delivering maritime security operations in the region to stop illicit activities and drug smuggling,” said UK Royal Navy Capt. James Byron, the CTF 150 commander in a statement. “This comes as a result of a valued partnership between CTF 150 and all partner nations in Combined Maritime Forces.”

Currently led by the United Kingdom Royal Navy, CTF 150 is one of four task forces organized under the Combined Maritime Forces. This was the first drug seizure in 2023 for CMF.

The UK Royal Navy Capt. James Byron assumed command of the multinational task force on 18th of January, after Royal Saudi Navy Rear Adm. Abdullah Al-Mutairi led the unit for six months.

Under Al-Mutairi’s leadership, CTF 150 ships logged more than 10,000 hours on regional patrols and intercepted six shipments of illegal drugs that included opium, heroin, hashish and amphetamines. The combined estimated value of the seized drugs totaled more than $250 million.