Canadian-Led CTF 150 Seize Nearly 2,000kg of Narcotics in Two Interdictions in a Single Day

By Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs | April 14, 2024

MANAMA, Bahrain --

The Canadian-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 carried out two drug interdictions at sea in a single day as part of Focused Operation Crimson Barracuda in the Arabian Sea, April 10. The two interdictions resulted in the seizure of a combined total of nearly 2,000 kg of drugs.

The Royal Navy’s HMS Lancaster, a Duke-class Type 23 frigate, seized over 800 kg of hashish, 390 kg of methamphetamines and 110 kg of heroine from a stateless dhow in the Arabian Sea. This was the crew’s first day of deployment after completing a crew swap a few weeks before.

“I am exceptionally proud of the entire team in Lancaster executing this interdiction on the first day of our deployment,” said Royal Navy Cmdr. Chris Sharp, HMS Lancaster’s commanding officer. “Complex interdictions in such a challenging environment require true teamwork across the entire ship's company. This success is shared with our partners in CTF 150 who provided essential support to the operation.”

Then, using Canadian space-based intelligence, the Sentinel-class fast-response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) seized 257 kg of methamphetamines, 92 kg of heroine, 17 kg of amphetamines, 296 kg of hashish, and 15 kg of marijuana from another dhow in the Arabian Sea. After weighing and documenting the hauls, the crew disposed of the narcotics.

Clarence Sutphin Jr is forward deployed to Bahrain as part of a contingent of U.S. Coast Guard ships under Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). PATFORSWA deploys Coast Guard personnel and ships alongside U.S. and regional naval forces throughout the Middle East.

“These two interdictions have made a significant dent in criminal and terrorist organizations’ ability to use drugs to fund their activities,” said Royal Canadian Navy Capt. Colin Matthews, Commander Combined Task Force 150. “The collaboration of our assets and personnel allowed us to become a precise and highly effective team that not only undermined the efforts of these organizations, but also nearly 2,000 kg of drugs from hitting the streets.”

Crimson Barracuda counters terrorist and criminal organizations’ use of the high seas to smuggle narcotics, weapons, and other illicit substances in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman.

CTF 150 is one of five task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the world’s largest international naval partnership. CTF 150’s mission is to deter and disrupt the ability of non-state actors to move weapons, drugs and other illicit substances in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.

Combined Maritime Forces is a 42-nation naval partnership upholding the international rules-based order by promoting security and stability across 3.2 million square miles of water encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.