The Combined Maritime Forces (CTF) currently commanded by the Saudi Royal Navy has seized over 450 kilograms of methamphetamine, the largest seizure of its kind in its history.
The STF said that sailors and royal marines on board the HMS Montrose seized the drugs from a suspicious vessel during a counter-narcotics operation in the Arabian Sea.
“This has been the most successful counter-methamphetamine operation in CMF history,” said Commander of CTF 150, Rear Admiral Sulieman al-Fakeeh of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.
“I commend the hard work and team effort of all of our CMF partners, especially CTF-150 and HMS Montrose, who have worked together to make this historic seizure happen,” al-Fakeeh added.
According to the CTF, a team of UK Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines conducted the boarding of the suspicious vessel in rough sea conditions, making boarding and conducting searches a difficult task.
“The 450 kilograms of drugs were well-hidden on board the vessel and required an extensive and intrusive search by the highly trained boarding team, made even more challenging by the threat of the coronavirus. The ship’s medical team were responsible for de-contaminating all personnel and all equipment, taking two hours for seven people to conduct full COVID cleaning and to process the intercepted drugs,” the CTF said in a news release regarding the operation.
The CTF-150 covers the Arabian Sea from the coast of Pakistan to the horn of Africa. It is currently being commanded by the Saudi Royal Navy as part of 33-nation efforts that contribute as members and partners in the group’s operations. It is the second time Saudi Arabia has led the task force.