National | Drugs

New Zealand-led operation seizes drugs in Indian Ocean

Photo / NZDF

French Navy frigate, FS Languedoc, earlier this week intercepted and searched a dhow ship suspected of smuggling and seized more than 1,525kg of hash and 166kg of methamphetamine. The illegal cargo had a combined value of more than US $5.2 million (NZ $7.4m).

Languedoc was conducting patrols in support of the New Zealand-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it seized the drugs.

“The seizure of narcotics from a dhow in the Indian Ocean is testament to the strong partnership between Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the Marine Nationale, and CTF 150, said Royal New Zealand Navy captain Brendon Clark, commander of CTF 150.

“Languedoc has once again demonstrated that through collaboration with like-minded partners, CMF is able to seize and destroy millions of dollars worth of narcotics, the income from which would otherwise be used to fund illicit activities and terrorism.”

CTF 150’s mission is to disrupt criminal and terrorist organisations and their related illicit activities, including the movement of personnel, weapons, narcotics, and charcoal.

It supports the Combined Maritime Force, which is a multinational maritime partnership of 34 nations upholding international rules-based order. It counters illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promotes security, stability and prosperity across approximately 8.3 million square kilometres of international waters, encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

The New Zealand-led multinational team took over command of CTF 150 from Canada earlier this year.

New Zealand Defence Force maritime component commander, Commodore Matt Williams, said that it was great to have success this early in the New Zealand command.

“We are pleased to be able to make a contribution to global security and it shows the value of working together with our partners in the CMF.”