October 20th, 2009
04:02 PM ET

U.S. Navy seizes millions of drugs in waters known for piracy

Mike Mount
CNN Senior Pentagon Producer

A U.S. Navy ship protecting commercial shipping from pirates seized about four tons of hashish being transported aboard a boat off the Horn of Africa last week, according to a U.S. Navy statement released Tuesday.

The ship, the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio, stopped a small boat known as a skiff in the Gulf of Aden because of suspicions it was a pirate boat, according to the Navy’s Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.

The Anzio is part of the coalition efforts in the waters off Somalia to reduce pirate’s attacks.

The waters are a major transit point for commercial shipping into and out of the Red Sea and are known for the incredible piracy problems from Somalia.

A U.S. Navy boarding team discovered the drugs on the small boat on October 15th in the waters of the Gulf of Aden about 170 miles southwest of Salalah, Oman, according to the U.S. Navy statement.

Navy officials said the area is also a very popular drug smuggling route with money from the sales possibly ending up in the hands of terrorists in Afghanistan.

According to the Navy statement the haul was worth and estimated $28 million U.S. dollars. The Navy boarding team destroyed the stash by dumping into the ocean, according to the statement.

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