Million dollar drug bust: $ 2.59 million worth of cannabis to “finance terrorism” seized by the Royal NZ Navy


Crew of the French navy frigate FS Languedoc with the proceeds of the seizure, on September 20, 2021, of illicit drugs from a ship in the Indian Ocean which included a Kiwi task force. Photo / FS Languedoc

For the second time in days, the Royal New Zealand Navy has seized millions of dollars in drugs from a ship in the Indian Ocean which authorities say was sold to “finance terrorism”.

On Monday, a Kiwi-led task force confiscated 3,600 kilograms of hashish (cannabis concentrate) valued at $ 2.59 million from a ship outside the Persian Gulf as part of a counter operation drugs.

The Royal NZ Navy task force was working as part of an international combined maritime forces operation on the French Navy frigate FS Languedoc.

The interception of a vessel with the $ 2.95 million in hashish on Monday follows the frigate FS Languedoc’s interception and search of another vessel seven days earlier.

On that occasion, the frigate seized more than 1,525 kg of hashish and 166 kg of methamphetamine for a combined value of more than $ 7.4 million.

Royal New Zealand Navy Captain Brendon Clark said that with the relaxation of the monsoon season, the Kiwi-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) was seeing an increase in drug trafficking via the global shipping lanes.

“For the second time in a week, the French frigate Languedoc has demonstrated its expertise and professionalism by seizing a significant volume of narcotics that would otherwise have gone to market, with the funds from the sale being used to finance terrorism and criminal activities “, he said.

“The continued engagement and contribution of a French Navy frigate to CTF 150 ensures the success of the mission.”

Criminal and terrorist organizations use the proceeds from the sale of narcotics to procure weapons, ammunition and equipment and to train in criminal and terrorist activities.

CTF 150 is one of the three CMF working groups. Its mission is to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations and their illicit activities, including the movement of people, weapons, drugs and charcoal. CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Persian Gulf to ensure that legitimate commercial shipping can proceed freely.

The Combined Maritime Forces are a multinational maritime partnership of 34 nations.

It exists to maintain the rules-based international order by combating illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting security, stability and prosperity on the approximately 8.3 million square kilometers of international waters encompassing some of the pathways most important navigation systems in the world.

The multinational team led by New Zealand took command of Canada’s CTF 150 earlier this year. NZDF will command and staff CTF 150 until early 2022.


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