December 18, 2016
The Egyptian Interior Ministry on Friday announced that it had seized large amounts of narcotics from an Iranian ship passing through the Red Sea, posting video footage of the massive haul seized and detaining several crewmembers, four of them were Iranians.
According to a statement from the ministry “In the framework of the Navy’s implementation of tasks to secure and protect our maritime borders and decisively address efforts by smugglers and criminal elements aimed at undermining the nation’s resources, a successful operation by Naval forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle a large quantity of narcotic substances into the country.”
The statement added that, based on reports indicating the presence of a suspect Iranian vessel in Egypt’s territorial waters in the Red Sea, the Armed Forces General Command ordered the navy to monitor the Iranian vessel, before instructing a naval unit to board the ship and search the vessel for contraband substances.
It continued, “During the inspection sacks containing white powder were found hidden under the floors of the ship’s bathrooms, with a total of 319 sacks recovered in total weighing approximately 171 kilograms, along with eight mobile phones of different makes, a radio transmitter, and a sum of money in different currencies (US – $146; Indian Rupees – 4,805; Iranian Riyals – 545,000; Pakistani Rupees – 10).”
The Egyptian defense ministry’s statement concluded, “The vessel, the ‘Abadan’, was seized, along with its crew of seven individuals of different nationalities, four of whom hold Iranian citizenship, two of whom are Indian nationals, and one of whom holds Pakistani citizenship.”