By Elsa Baxter
Forces find 12.4 tonnes of cannabis on boat - enough to make 35 million joints.
One of the region's largest ever drugs seizure has been made after 12.4 tonnes of cannabis resin were found on a boat off the coast of Oman, it has been reported.
A British ship in the Combined Task Force 150 discovered the drugs, with a street value of AED257m ($70m) and enough to make 35 million marijuana cigarettes, the British Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Monday.
A report in the National said the drugs were being smuggled on the notorious “hash highway” from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We’re well trained for this kind of operation, but you don’t expect to find this quantity,” said Petty Officer Jan Dash, a member of the boarding team from HMS Cumberland, the Royal Navy frigate that launched the operation.
The drugs “looked like bags of potatoes piled up when we got it on deck”.
The paper said officials would not comment as to where the drugs were heading.
Drug smugglers take advantage of the region’s proximity to Asia and easy routes to Europe. Last month, Dubai was named as a drug smuggling hotspot by a leading policeman.
A multinational task force has been set up to prevent smuggling in the region and patrols the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
“The seizure of these drugs takes money out of the hands of those financing terrorists in the region,” said US Navy Vice Adml Bill Gortney, commander of the US Fifth Fleet told the paper.
“The smugglers need to know that coalition forces are patrolling the seas and skies above. These efforts send a message to all would-be smugglers that we are here and we won’t tolerate drug trafficking in international waters.”
Yesterday I had posted my comments that the headline of this article is misleading. As per the article, the drugs haul was from a boat off the coast of Oman and the drugs were not found on the soils of Oman! The report further stated that the officials would not comment as to where the drugs were heading. Arabianbusiness editors need to be careful in publishing the report in the correct perspective, rather than giving dramatic headlines to a story. After all, Arabianbusiness is not a tabloid!