Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Aslat (254), as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized five tons of hashish Feb. 6, while patrolling the Arabian Sea.
Aslat detected a dhow of interest during a routine patrol of the area. The Pakistan ship requested permission from CTF 150 to conduct a flag-verification boarding. Once the dhow was determined to be without nationality, PNS Aslat was authorized to conduct a non-destructive search of the dhow. Aslat’s boarding team located the five tons of hashish, valued at over $197 million.
“CTF 150 is a multinational task force working together in order to promote security and stability throughout our area of operations,” said Commander of CTF 150 Cmdre. Mal Wise, Royal Australian Navy. “The recent seizure with PNS Aslat highlights the expertise and local operational knowledge of our partner navies that is key to achieving success.”
Since November, multinational assets in support of CTF 150 have seized over 16 tons of hashish and 1.5 tons of heroin, valued in excess of $1 billion. This is the sixth confiscation of drugs by CTF 150, currently under Australian leadership, with a combined Australian and Canadian staff and supported by assets from partner nations like Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The U.S.-led Combined Maritime Forces is a Bahrain-based, global maritime partnership of nations, aligned in common purpose to conduct maritime security operations in order to provide security in the maritime environment.
CTF 150 is focused on disrupting terrorist organisations and their unlawful activities by restricting freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain. In collaboration with regional and other partners, CTF 150 promotes maritime security by denying terrorist organisations their ability to move personnel, weapons or drugs thus obstructing their capacity to raise funds.
Note: *This calculation is based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) at $50 AUD /$39 USD per gram (p215) and Heroin at $300,000 AUD / $235,000 USD per kilogram (p 216).