An illicit shipment of drugs aboard a stateless dhow vessel transiting international waters in the Arabian Sea, Dec. 27, 2021. (US Navy)

December 30, 2021

United States navy vessels seized 385 kilograms of heroin in the Arabian Sea worth some $4 million, in a major bust by the international maritime operation in the region, officials said Thursday.

The USS Tempest and USS Typhoon seized the drugs hidden aboard a stateless fishing vessel plying Mideast waters, the international task force said in a statement. The seizure took place on Monday.

The Navy said the fishing vessel likely came from Iran. All nine crew members identified themselves as Iranian nationals, according to Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesperson for the US Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet.

As the task force ramps up regional patrols, it has confiscated illegal drugs worth over $193 million during operations at sea this year — more than the amount of drugs seized in the last four years combined, its statement said.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.