Major drug bust in Seychelles waters |02 May 2023
• “Congratulations for a job well done,” says President Ramkalawan
On Saturday April 29 the country witnessed one of the largest drug seizures in Seychelles’ waters.
The boat involved is an Iranian dhow with seven crew members on board.
This operation in the south east of Mahé was conducted by the Seychelles Security Services including the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), the Seychelles Police and Intelligence Services as well as other key partners.
The news of the suspected dhow being intercepted on our seas was circulated on Friday and it was only on Saturday that the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) vessel towed to port the Iranian dhow.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Achille Mondon, public relations officer at the SDF, the dhow was intercepted during a routine check by the SCG and the Seychelles Air Force (SAF).
“Normally the dhow was not supposed to be in our seas and our vessel Zoroaster was diverted for an initial check. Once it approached the dhow, communication was established but the boat did not want to stop. They resisted the orders and our boarding team had to use some force to stop them. But we also observed that the crew members threw a few packages in the sea and we were able to recover them all. The dhow was taken over by our forces and we headed directly to Mahé.”
Once on Mahé, everything was handed over to the Seychelles Police.
Some 48 packages were seized and they were all processed by the Seychelles Police.
Commissioner of Police Ted Barbe noted that all forces work together when such situations arise.
“Once the SCG intercepts a boat involved in illegal activities in our seas, the Seychelles Police is informed and we prepare to arrest them once on land. Officials from our scientific support unit process the boat, its crew members and its contents. No Seychellois was on board and we suspect all the packages contain illegal drugs. Now the seven Iranians will be placed in detention until further actions,” explained Commissioner Barbe.
Also present to witness the arrival of the dhow in port were the Head of State himself, Wavel Ramkalawan and Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Michael Rosette.
In a message from his office, President Ramkalawan, on behalf of the country and on his personal behalf, has congratulated the Seychelles Security Services including the SDF, the Seychelles Police and Intelligence Services as well as all other key partners who have been involved in this anti-narcotics operation during which the largest amount of drugs was seized.
“This is a reflection of the enormity of the challenge our country is facing vis-a-vis the drug scourge, and the government, along with all its stakeholders and partners, remain determined to pursue this fight for the protection of our people especially the youth of Seychelles. We will not give up in this fight and I once again call on everyone to join in this fight. Congratulations for a job well done!” President Ramkalawan said in the message.
Photos: Joena Meme/State House