Coast Guard Bags $48 Million of Drugs in Gulf of Oman

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USCGC Glen Harris illicit drugs seizure.
Personnel from U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) inventory illicit drugs seized from a fishing vessel in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, Oct. 10, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard seized almost $50 million in drugs from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman this week, according to a Tuesday press release from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

As part of the Combined Task Force 150, a multinational unit headed by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, the USCGC Glen Harris captured more than 11,000 pounds of hashish and roughly 1,700 pounds of methamphetamines off the northeastern coast of Oman on Monday.

This brings the task force's total drug capture dollar amount up to $300 million, according to Stars and Stripes, for which the Glen Harris is responsible for much of the haul.

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The U.S.-Saudi relationship soured this week after Saudi-led OPEC cut oil production despite U.S. protests, a move that could raise gas prices globally. President Joe Biden promised "consequences" to the relationship after the move. Despite the international tension, U.S. and Saudi forces continue to work together as part of the multinational maritime task force aimed at quelling drug trafficking.

The Glen Harris became the U.S. Coast Guard's 44th fast response cutter last year, and since it mobilized to the Middle East earlier this year, it has conducted a number of drug interdictions, resulting in almost $100 million worth of seizures since May.

"FRCs facilitated hundreds of domestic fisheries boardings, apprehended 105 suspected drug smugglers, interdicted 18,877 kilograms of cocaine," the Coast Guard's website says, "depriving transnational criminal organizations of $787 million in profits -- and rescued or interdicted 1,805 irregular maritime migrants during fiscal year 2021."

Combined Task Force 150 is one of four units within the Combined Maritime Forces, according to the press release.

The seizure off the coast of Oman comes just weeks after the Coast Guard picked up a whopping $475 million worth of cocaine and marijuana on the other side of the world -- off the coast of Miami.

-- Drew F. Lawrence can be reached at drew.lawrence@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @df_lawrence.

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