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U.S. seizes drugs on boats in Persian Gulf

The USS Decatur intercepted this boat Monday and found 3,780 pounds of hashish and three men believed to have al Qaeda ties.
The USS Decatur intercepted this boat Monday. They found 3,780 pounds of hashish and three men believed to have al Qaeda ties.

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Coalition forces seize suspected heroin on two small vessels in the Persian Gulf.
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(CNN) -- Coalition forces on Saturday seized what they think is heroin and methamphetimines on two small vessels in the Persian Gulf, U.S. Central Command said.

The seizure came five days after nearly $10 million in hashish was found on another vessel and 12 crew members were arrested. Three of those detained have "links" to the al Qaeda terrorist group and the drug cargo have "clear ties" to al Qaeda, the Pentagon said.

The USS Philippine Sea intercepted the two dhows believed to be operating together. One of ship's search teams boarded the first dhow and found approximately 150 pounds of methamphetamines.

The second dhow tried to outrun the forces, but it was caught and boarded by another Philippine Sea boarding team.

A Navy patrol videotaped the crew of the second dhow throwing about 200 bags overboard while they fled.

"Once aboard the second dhow, Sailors discovered one 50-pound bag and one 35-pound bag of a substance that is believed to be pure heroin. Depending on its quality, pure heroin can cost between $18,000 and $86,000 per pound," Central Command said in a press release.

Fourteen crewmen from the first dhow and seven crewmen from the second dhow are in Navy custody.

The seizure was made after it received intelligence from a Monday raid by USS Decatur, a guided missile destroyer on patrol in the Persian Gulf.

The small vessel loaded with hashish in the Persian Gulf. U.S. military officials said the drug cargo has "clear ties" to al Qaeda.

The boarding took place Monday just inside the Strait of Hormuz by a team from the USS Decatur.

Found on board the 40-foot dhow, officials said, were 54 bags of hashish weighing 70 pounds apiece. The drugs would have a street value of between $8 million and $10 million, officials said.

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