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Navy seizes 4 tons of narcotics at sea

NAPLES, Italy — The U.S. Navy seized about 4 tons of hashish with an estimated value of $28 million after chasing down a skiff in the Gulf of Aden last week, the Navy announced Tuesday.

After what officials described as a "brief chase," a team made up of sailors and Coast Guardsmen from the USS Anzio boarded the skiff about 170 miles southwest of Salalah, Oman, in an area known as the "Hash Highway."

The boarding team destroyed all of the drugs and related paraphernalia by throwing them overboard, the Navy said.

No one aboard the skiff was taken into custody.

"Destroying the actual narcotics is more important than holding judicial accountability," said Lt. Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain.

The seizure was part of the Navy’s continuing efforts to thwart piracy and drug smuggling in the waters off East Africa that officials say are the primary funding vehicles for terrorism in the region.

The USS Anzio, a guided-missile cruiser, is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, which falls under the Combined Maritime Forces headquartered in Bahrain. The task force’s mission is to conduct counterpiracy operations.


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