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USS Laboon makes another major drug bust in Arabian Sea

Sailors assigned to the USS Laboon inspect bags containing hashish during an inspection of a dhow in the Arabian Sea, Friday, March 17, 2017.

PHOTO COURTESY U.S. NAVY

By CHRIS CHURCH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 23, 2017

MANAMA, Bahrain — Guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon was at it again last week, making a second major drug bust in a matter of days in the Arabian Sea, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement.

In the most recent intercept on March 17, Laboon seized 500 kilograms of hashish from a small stateless dhow, the command said on Tuesday.

Five days earlier, on March 13, Laboon found 270 kilograms of heroin aboard a stateless dhow in the Arabian sea.

Also this month, Australian navy ship HMAS Arunta busted 800 kilograms of hashish from a fishing vessel.

Both Laboon and Arunta are part of Combined Task Force 150, one of three task forces with the U.S.-led combined maritime forces. The 31-nation naval partnership operates across some 3.2 million square miles of international waters, including some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. CTF 150 focuses on maritime security and counterterrorism throughout the Middle East.

The second seizure by the ship in the short time period is a sign of superb training and preparedness, said Royal Canadian navy Commodore Haydn Edmundson, the commander for combined task force 150, in a statement.

“These boardings, whether they result in a successful seizure or not, are some of the most complex and dangerous evolutions that our sailors conduct on the high seas.”

church.chris@stripes.com
Twitter: @CChurchStripes

 

Sailors assigned to the USS Laboon offload bags containing hashish from a dhow in the Arabian Sea, Friday, March 17, 2017. Laboon sailors intercepted the dhow and seized 500 kg of hashish, their second successful drug interdiction operation in five days.
PHOTO COURTESY U.S. NAVY

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