DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A British royal navy vessel seized 450 kilograms (990 pounds) of methamphetamine in the northern Arabian Sea in the largest-ever bust by a joint maritime operation in the region, officials said Wednesday.
The HMS Montrose seized the drugs hidden aboard a stateless dhow, a traditional cargo ship that plies the Persian Gulf and surrounding waters, the joint task force said in a statement. The seizure took place last Wednesday.
The task force said it was unable to say where the drugs came from, who manufactured them or their ultimate destination.
However, Iran over the last decade has seen an explosion in the use of methamphetamine, known locally as “shisheh” or “glass” in Farsi. That's bled into neighboring Iraq as well.
While drug lab busts have dropped in recent years in Iran, there appears to be an uptick in meth drug labs in Afghanistan, from where it is smuggled through Pakistan, the United Nations said in its 2020 World Drug Report. Both Pakistan and Iran sit on the northern Arabian Sea.