Somalia – French Navy frigate FS Nivôse has seized over 250 kilograms from a suspected vessel in her first month of operations as part of the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150).
The narcotics were seized in a June 8 operation in which the crew of Nivôse boarded and inspected a dhow off the coast of Somalia.
The sailors discovered a total of 251 kilograms of heroin, worth an estimated $2.6 million in East Africa. The illicit narcotics were subsequently seized and destroyed by the crew of the Nivôse.
This is just the latest in a series of seizures by the Marine Nationale, complementing those made by the French warships Jean de Vienne and La Fayette in recent months. In total, the three ships have been responsible for seizing 6 tonnes of hashish and nearly 1,200 kilograms of heroin whilst supporting CTF150 operations over the last three months.
East Africa is emerging as a major drugs supply route into Europe. Drugs are smuggled into the continent via the Indian Ocean and then flown directly to Europe. These non-traditional routes are less suspicious than established trafficking routes.
Increasing, illegal consignments of drugs and firearms have been intercepted by the Somali government and even Somali pirates.
Left unchecked, these narcotics supply routes almost always leave a trail of misery and destruction.