$4 million worth of heroin seized by US Navy in Arabian Sea

U.S. Navy ships seized $4 million worth of heroin in the Arabian Sea this week, the Navy said Thursday. 

In a statement, the Navy said the heroin was seized from a stateless fishing vessel that was transiting the Arabian Sea on Monday. U.S. Coast Guard personnel on the USS Tempest and USS Typhoon discovered the shipment while conducting a flag verification boarding.

The confiscated drugs were destroyed at sea by U.S. forces, the statement said. After seizing the drugs, the Navy released the vessel and its nine crew members, who identified themselves as Iranian.

The ships were operating as part of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, an international task force that regularly conducts maritime security and counterterrorism operations at sea outside of the Arabian Gulf.  

The task force has seized more than $193 million worth of illegal drugs this year during counternarcotics operations at sea, higher than the total value of drugs seized in the past four years combined.

CTF 150 operates as part of the Combined Maritime Forces, which is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet. The 34-nation Combined Maritime Task Force operates in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf.

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