US ships seize heroin in Arabian Sea

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US Navy ships seized 385 kilograms of heroin in the Arabian Sea worth about $ 4 million in a major raid on the international maritime operation in the region, officials said Thursday.

The ships USS Tempest and USS Typhoon found the drug on Monday, hidden aboard an unflagged fishing boat sailing in eastern waters.

The Navy said the fishing boat likely came from Iran. All nine crew members identified themselves as Iranian nationals, said Commander Timothy Hawkins, a spokesman for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet stationed in the Middle East.

Hawkins did not elaborate on who made the drugs or their final destination.

As the Navy increases its regional patrols, it has seized more than $ 193 million worth of drugs in maritime operations this year, more than the amount seized in the past four years combined, according to its statement.

Heroin is trafficked to the Middle East and even Europe overland from Iran and Afghanistan via heavily traveled overland routes in the Balkans, the southern Caucasus mountains or Saudi Arabia, according to the UN Global Synthetic Drug Assessment of the year. last.

Increasingly, smugglers from Iran are using sea routes to bring heroin to South Asia, the report added. Iranian and Pakistani sailors are often arrested near Sri Lanka.

Iran’s 1,923-kilometer porous border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest opium producer, has made Iran a key transit country for drug trafficking.

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