Foreign vessel intercepted in Seychelles' waters with suspected illegal substances
The dhow was intercepted in the early morning of Friday by Patrol Ship Etoile. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A flagless dhow with 8 crew members was intercepted in the Seychelles’ waters in a joint operation on Friday.
According to the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), the joint operation which included the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Forces intercepted the dhow in the northeast of Mahe.
The dhow was detected by Seychelles Air Force surveillance aircraft during a routine surveillance patrol and was intercepted in the early morning of Friday by Patrol Ship Etoile.
SDF said that “during the process of interception and boarding, the crew of the dhow was seen to be dropping several packages overboard which is believed to be illegal substances. Two of these packages were recovered and will be handed over to Police for analysis to determine their content. The dhow is being escorted back to Mahe for further investigation.”
The nationality of the crew members have not been confirmed yet.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean, has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres and has stepped up efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking and illegal fishing in its waters.
Currently in the Supreme Court is the ongoing case of 11 Iranians intercepted on a dhow outside Seychelles' Exclusive Economic zone on November 7, 2021, during a joint military operation by the Seychelles Coast Guard in collaboration with the Indian and French navies.
The case involved the biggest drug bust in Seychelles of 130.58 kilogrammes of cannabis resin.