U.S. Navy seizes $4 million worth of heroin in Arabian Sea
Two U.S. Navy ships seized 385 kilograms (849 pounds) of heroin from a stateless fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command announced Thursday.
Why it matters: The heroin, discovered by the USS Tempest and the USS Typhoon on Monday, is worth approximately $4 million, per the news release.
- The two ships were operating as a part of an international task force that patrols different maritime areas. The group has seized more than $193 million worth of illegal drugs at sea this year — more than the previous four years combined.
Details: U.S. forces destroyed the heroin at sea. After seizing the drugs, the Navy released the nine crew members who identified themselves as Iranian.
The big picture: Opium smugglers from Iran have used sea routes to get drugs into South Asia. Iranian and Pakistani sailors are often arrested near Sri Lanka, according to AP.
- Iran's border with Afghanistan, the world's largest producer of opium, has turned Iran into an important transit area for many opiates, per AP.
What they're saying: "We were able to execute this interdiction safely and with precision due to the tireless efforts of all involved,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Intoccia, the commanding officer of Tempest.