The French Navy Frigate FLOREAL, part of the operation, captures almost 6 tons of hashish
Between 26th and 28th April, the French Navy surveillance frigate Floréal, apprehended almost 6 tons of hashish during three new actions on flagless ships. These interceptions, that add up to the four performed between 14th and 18th April, completed a successful participation integrated in EU NAVFOR Atalanta.
With these three interdictions, the total number of anti-narcotics operations carried out by FS Floréal now stands at seven since April 11th, bringing the total to more than eight tons of seized narcotics. The estimated value of the overall narcotics seized is more than 60 million euros in wholesale value and more than 200 million euros (236 million USD) in the street value in Europe.
Unlike the four previous seizures along the “smack track”, these last three operations were conducted along the “hash highway”, another main drug route of the Western Indian Ocean linking the Arabian Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
In these operations, FS Floréal Boarding Team has embedded two Italian and Spanish officers, allowing a robust transfer of skills and highlighting the integration between the forces that operate in the framework of ATALANTA.
This secondary counter-narcotics executive task of Atalanta is closely linked to its primary mission, counter-piracy, targeting the illegal activities into which piracy networks have diversified, as well as tackling the sources of funding for violent extremist organizations throughout East Africa, from Mozambique to Northern Somalia.
The commitment of EU NAVFOR Atalanta will continue to provide maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Given the link amongst the criminal networks, in tackling illegal activities in the maritime domain, Atalanta takes a crucial step forward, which ultimately makes a key contribution to freedom of navigation, while monitoring and re-assuring shipping traffic and fishing vessels operating in the region as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid.